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Can You Take a Drone on a Plane? (Complete Guide)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
how to take a drone on a plane

Carrying a drone to scenic routes and destinations is always a good idea. You will be able to capture all of the beautiful moments whenever you travel. But the question is, can you take a drone on a plane?

There are currently no restrictions from TSA or FAA on carrying a drone on a plane. However, rules and regulations may change with time; therefore, always confirm it with the airport authorities before taking one with you. 

But that's not all, and there's definitely a lot more to learn when it comes to knowing whether you can take a drone on a plane. Luckily, you've come to the right place because, in this article, I have explained this topic in detail to make it easy for you. 

If you are interested in learning more about traveling with drones, keep on reading!

How Do You Carry a Drone on a Plane?

As you've learned, you can take a drone with you while traveling on the plane, but you may not know how to carry it with you properly.

The best way to transport a drone on a plane is in a carry-on bag. Moreover, the drone's batteries should be inside instead of being carried separately. If you intend to carry your batteries separately, then you have to place them in battery pouches or tape their terminals.

As mentioned earlier, there is no restriction on carrying it while traveling by plane. However, being a good citizen, you should still follow all rules and safety guidelines for the safety of yourself and other passengers. 

Whenever you carry a drone in a carry-on luggage bag, it will ensure that it stays protected while taking it with you in the cabin. Apart from that, sometimes batteries can cause fire, turning a happy moment into a disaster. 

This means keeping a drone with a battery included in the cargo section is dangerous. Li-Ion batteries contain ions consisting of lithium salt and organic solvents. These organic solvents are the main reason behind causing the fire. 

According to research conducted by the Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering, even if the battery fire is extinguished and it has a high temperature, there is still a high chance that the battery will re-ignite.

This indicates how dangerous a situation can be if a battery catches fire while in the cargo and how hard will it be for the authorities to take control, especially during the flight. So the best thing is to keep the drone away from the cargo and inside your carry-on luggage, which will be easy to handle in case anything happens. I have also compiled a list of the best travel drones for international travellers along with tips for making the most of your drone on your journeys.

Can You Take a Drone Through Airport Security?

You might also be concerned about taking your drone through airport security, since you don't know if they will let it through.  

On the United State's TSA site, drones are clearly stated to be allowed through airport security. Thus, a drone can definitely pass through airport security inside your luggage.

However, every country has its own rules and regulations for airport security. Some countries such as Israel are more strict regarding security and, therefore, have more restrictions on cameras, drones, and stuff like that. 

Are Drones Allowed in Carry-On Luggage?

Since you know you can take drones with you on a plane, you may still be confused about whether you should carry them in your hands or carry-on luggage?

Drones are allowed in carry-on luggage in many airports of the world. It is also considered a best practice to carry them in separate carry-on luggage for safety reasons. 

If the UAV's battery becomes hot and starts a fire, the luggage can easily be disposed of, and the situation can be controlled on time. It also helps prevent accidental damage to the UAV during the journey. 

Can I Take DJI Drones on a Plane?

The answer to this question is yes, you can take DJI drones on a plane, but how you can carry them depends upon the shape and size of the drone. 

That said, larger size drones may cause an issue while carrying it on a plane, not only due to its storage, but sometimes, you may also face security clearance issues at different airports as some of them won't allow you to carry it on the plane. 

The following table tells you the dimensions of some DJI drones and how you can carry them on a plane:

DJI ModelDimensionsHow You Can Carry?
DJI Mini SE138x81x58 (Folded)Carry-on Luggage bag
DJI Mini 2138x81x58 (Folded)Carry-on Luggage bag
DJI Air 2S180x97x77 (Folded)Separate bag
DJI Mavic 3221x96.3x90.3 (Folded)Separate Bag
DJI FPV178x232x127 (without propellers)Separate Bag

What Are Airline Requirements for Taking a Lithium Battery on a Plane?

Airlines do not allow lithium batteries in baggage. Therefore, you will have to put them inside the drone while traveling. If you are not aware of the airline requirements for taking Li batteries, here's your answer:

Airlines want the battery terminals to be protected from short circuits. Therefore, the number of batteries allowed depends upon the total watt-hours of the batteries.

With that said, if your batteries exceed 100 watt-hours, then you will have to take special permission from your airline. 

How Many Drone Batteries Can You Fly With?

One of the questions that often comes up when talking about drones is "how many drone batteries can you fly with?".

The maximum number of batteries should not be more than 200-watt-hours which means you can fly with 2x100 watt-hour batteries at max or 4x50 watt-hour batteries at a time.

As mentioned above, there might be issues sometimes if you try to carry extra batteries with your drone, especially if the total watt-hour of these batteries exceeds 100 WH.

In addition to this, airlines won't let you take batteries in baggage. Therefore, you will have to put them in your drone, which will limit your capacity. 

How to Transport Lithium-Ion Batteries?

The best way to transport Li-Ion batteries is to store them in specialized battery cases. However, covering the terminals with electric tape also works very well if the battery case is not available. 

Since the terminals of batteries are covered with tape or it is stored inside a separate case, you shouldn't worry about fire issues at all. There are also battery sleeves available on the market that will let you store multiple batteries at a time. 

Final Words

I hope after reading this article, you will have learned that you can take a drone on a plane without any issue. 

However, you still need to keep yourself aware of the rules and regulations of every airport, as not all countries may have the same rules and regulations about cameras and drones. With that said, you should also be very careful about carrying batteries with your drone. 

Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
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