How to Travel with a Drone


Photo Credit: Wix Stock Library

With all the things that your drone can do, why leave it at home? Whether you’re touring the hottest locales or heading to the latest race, it stands to reason that you’d want to know how to take it with you wherever you go. Having your drone while in transit exposes it to the potential risk of being damaged before you reach your destination, among other concerns regarding the rules and regulations pilots must adhere to. Read on for some tips on travelling with a drone.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

Photo Credit: Federal Aviation Administration

Before you leave, register your drone and obtain any necessary certification to fly. Recreational and commercial pilots with drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds must have their drones registered with the FAA. As a result of the latest FAA regulations, your registration number must be clearly visible on the hull as well. Registration costs only $5 and is valid for 3 years. Also, check the FAA and local drone laws for wherever you're traveling to. Whether you’re at home or abroad, anywhere could be a Kodak Moment, but there are many beautiful sites that don’t permit drones.

In addition to registration, you may want to have your drone insured before traveling. Liability insurance is always recommended, but you may also want to ensure you have coverage while in transit and at the location you're traveling to.

CASES, BAGS, AND BACKPACKS

Photo Credit: Wix Stock Library

For traveling with a drone on your person, there are a wide variety of options to choose from. To keep your drone safe and secure, invest in a good quality drone backpack, hard shell bag, or case. Popular drone manufacturers like DJI have selections of bags and cases made specifically for their drones and accessories available on their online stores.

Drone bags and cases are also available on popular retailer sites like bestbuy.com and Amazon, and there are third-party companies that manufacture bags, cases, and backpacks for drones and sell them online. For example, Lowepro makes backpacks and cases that fit recognizable brand name quadcopters, and their site has a guide to ensure you buy the one that fits best. Shopping online can be tricky, so read the descriptions of these products carefully to ensure you get a bag/case that has a comfortable design, fits your drone, and has space for accessories.

TSA REGULATIONS

Photo Credit: Wix Stock Library

Traveling by plane in any circumstance can be confusing. It can be hard to keep up with what is allowed in which bag in whatever quantity. Drones are no exception to this chaos. If you're wondering if you should have your drone in your carry-on or checked bag, you'll have to check with your airline first.

Don't forget that there are also restrictions on bringing batteries on planes. Drones have lithium batteries and according to tsa.gov, Lithium batteries with 100-watt hours or less can be carried in a device in either carry-on or checked bags. Lithium batteries with more than 100-watt hours may be allowed in carry-on bags with airline approval, but passengers are limited to two spare batteries per passenger. Loose lithium batteries are prohibited in checked bags, so bring your battery case along with you.

I am a writer and an artist based in Georgia. Specializing in illustration, graphic design, and video art, I love to explore the new ways technology intersects with art. I think drones have done amazing things for photography and video art, making what would previously be costly and difficult more accessible. As a complete novice, it was only recently that I saw what independent artists could do with their drones, and I continue to be impressed by the sights that drones are able to explore and the images they can capture. Instagram: @tyesha.ferron

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