The drone in question is a DJI Phantom 3 Standard.

  1. Can I fly with a drone at all?
  2. If yes, carry-on or checked bags?
  3. Do you need to declare it?
  4. Do you need to take it out of bags at Security X-ray like laptops?
  • 2
    Which country are you planning to use the drone in? Jul 16 '16 at 5:08
  • Would the rules not be similar to a model aircraft? Jul 16 '16 at 9:55
  • 2
    You have 4 issues: TSA in the American airport, CBSA when you enter Canada, CATSA in the Canadian airport, and CBP when you enter the US Jul 16 '16 at 12:48
  • 3
  • The suggested dupe only addresses the first of the 4 concerns listed by @Kate Gregory, so I voted to leave open.
    – mts
    Jul 16 '16 at 16:56

I've flown within the USA, to the US from Canada and Europe, and all over Europe without issues. Here are a few tips:

  • Many airlines now have a drone specific page on their website - search using something like "can I take my drone on British Airways" to find it. Print this page and take it with you when you fly.

  • There are likely to be limits on the amount of LiPo batteries you can fly with - at one stage I checked and it was three for my specific model on that particular airline, based on size.

  • Your LiPos always have to be carried as hand luggage.

  • It's advisable to discharge your batteries to around 1/3 for safety reasons. Take a look here for other handy LiPo battery handling tips: http://thedronegirl.com/2015/02/07/lipo-battery/

  • It's advisable to store your LiPo batteries in a LiPo bag (available on Amazon, ebay, etc).

  • Some countries don't allow drones to be imported and this could apply to passengers in transit. There's a pretty good list of applicable laws, by country, here: https://uavcoach.com/drone-laws/

I've never had a problem, other than a couple minutes delay at security as they looked over my drone (I've flown with a Phantom 4, Mavic Pro and Mavic 2 Pro) and on only one occasion did I need to nudge their approval with production of the printed "can I take my drone on __airline name____" page.


As long as the remote control and the drone are off (they would probably consider those as radios/remote controlled vehicles, which are not allowed to be used in flight) I don't see an issue.

You will need to register the drone with the FAA in order to fly it, and I might be wrong, but you may need an address inside the US as part of registration.

I have also checked the TSA website's tool "What Can I Bring?" for "remote controlled helicopter" and it said it could be in your carry-on or checked baggage.

However, I would avoid calling it a drone in the airport, because it says that drones might not be allowed and groups them with hoverboards/self-balancing scooters because of the battery.

  • Thank you for the answer, but from my understanding, you no longer are required to register with the FAA. And I found a source (no longer on the web unfortunately) that mentions taking a drone on Carry-On because the LiPo batteries are less exposed to temperature/pressure changes. If I find the URL of the source, I can try to find an internet archive for it.
    – tycrek
    Oct 20 '16 at 14:12

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