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Drone as a carry-on. What are the requirements?
3759 10 2018-3-12
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Macdugel
First Officer
Flight distance : 630577 ft
United States
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Hey folks,

Flying domestically within the U.S. this weekend and wanted to see what is required for the drone to be carried on the flight.  Any insight is super appreciated!

Dan
2018-3-12
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ChaosKnign
Second Officer
Flight distance : 402877 ft
United States
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Hi Dan!

I had this same question when I had just gotten my drone.

From what I could find, the FAA doesn't have any regulations for either airplanes carrying drones or drones being brought aboard, but they do have regulations on hazardous materials (hazmat) being carried by airline passengers, which apply to our drones' batteries. According to FAA's Pack Safe site, they must be uninstalled and in your carry on baggage only, besides having size and Watt Hour restrictions.

TSA doesn't care and leaves it up to the airlines.

Not sure what airline you're traveling on, but I took American Airlines so I can provide their policies as an example of what airlines ask you to do (emphasis mine):



Batteries
Example
9-volt
AA/AAA/C/D
Alkaline
Carbon zinc
Silver oxide
Zinc air
Lithium or lithium-ion
Nickel-cadmium or nickel-metal hydride


Allowed for travel?
Yes


Notes
Please remove batteries from devices in your checked bags and put them in your carry-on in separate plastic bags.
Lithium-ion battery acceptance by Watt-hour (Wh):
Less than 100 Wh – Unlimited quantity in carry-on baggage
100 - 160 Wh – 2 spares in carry-on baggage
160 - 300 Wh – Contact Special Assistance



Drones
Example
Drones


Allowed for travel?
Yes, with restrictions


Notes
Your drone's battery must not exceed 160 Wh
Drone can be carried on if it or its box is less than 22 x 14 x 9 inches / 56 x 36 x 23 centimeters



Hope this helps. =D





2018-3-12
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 11526437 ft
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United Kingdom
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ChaosKnign Posted at 2018-3-12 10:08
Hi Dan!

I had this same question when I had just gotten my drone.

Great info - thanks for posting that
2018-3-12
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Macdugel
First Officer
Flight distance : 630577 ft
United States
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ChaosKnign Posted at 2018-3-12 10:08
Hi Dan!

I had this same question when I had just gotten my drone.

Wow, this is great!  Thank you for linking this info!  I am about to  fly on Delta - looks like they allow two batteries only (which is fine).  The Mavic batteriess are like 44 Wh yea?
2018-3-12
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off2board
lvl.3
Flight distance : 379764 ft
United States
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I just got back from a Florida trip on Delta.  Carried on my Mavic Air with 3 batteries with no issues.  The only thing I had to do at security was pull the drone out of the bag and put it in a separate bin.
Be careful flying overseas though.  I watched a youtube video about this guy that got his confiscated at customs in Nicaragua.  Turns out drones are illegal in the entire country (something I never would of thought to look into).  He got it back at the end of his trip but it was a fiasco.
2018-3-12
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ChaosKnign
Second Officer
Flight distance : 402877 ft
United States
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Delta's Restricted Items - Lithium Batteries section is worded strangely. You can carry unlimited Lithium Batteries under 100 Watt Hours, two (2) spares between 100 and 160 watt hours. Anything over 160 watt hours is prohibited. They just jump around with specs instead of listing it logically:

Size Limits for Lithium Batteries:

Passengers are permitted to travel with lithium ion batteries that contain a maximum of 160 watt hours per battery.  Any lithium ion battery containing more than 160 watt hours is prohibited from carriage on all passenger aircraft. Lithium ion batteries installed in a personal electronic device can be transported as checked or carry on baggage. Lithium ion batteries not installed in a device (spares) must be in carry-on baggage and no more than two (2) spares between 100 and 160 watt hours are allowed.

And our Mavic Air batteries are:

Specifications
Energy: 27.43 Wh


2018-3-12
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ChaosKnign
Second Officer
Flight distance : 402877 ft
United States
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As off2board attested to, you should be golden, Dan. ;D

Have a pleasant and safe trip!
2018-3-12
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Macdugel
First Officer
Flight distance : 630577 ft
United States
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ChaosKnign Posted at 2018-3-12 10:35
As off2board attested to, you should be golden, Dan. ;D

Have a pleasant and safe trip!

Thanks all - super helpful!  I am headed to Minneapolis for my grandfathers funeral.  He had a beautiful home and I wanted to capture some aerials of it, might be covered in snow though =).

2018-3-12
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Flite
lvl.2
Flight distance : 401355 ft
United States
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I flew to CA with my Mavic PP last month. Didnt even get asked to take it out of my carryon hardside suitcase.


Points to note:
1. Protect it. Bundle it up, and keep it safe.
2. Be ready to take it out of the bag....
3. Dont check any of it, if you can help it.
4. You can absolutely NOT check any of your extra batteries.
5. You CAN NOT check your bag at the gate/jetway
---- This is important. Sometimes when you're on a full flight, they will start to "force" people to check their carryon suitcases that wont fit under the seat in front of you. If someone asks you to do this, state that you have "extra lithium-Ion camera batteries, and cannot check the bag"
I've been told saying "camera" instead of "drone" is a good thing to do.

6. HAVE FUN AND RELAX!
You would think that it would be some complicated process, but its not. Its pretty carefree. I imagine TSA agents have seen many drones before by now, and they arent surprised by them anymore.
2018-3-12
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Macdugel
First Officer
Flight distance : 630577 ft
United States
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Flite Posted at 2018-3-12 10:54
I flew to CA with my Mavic PP last month. Didnt even get asked to take it out of my carryon hardside suitcase.

I figure if they ask to check the bag at the gate , i'll just pull the batteries out of the bag and carry them in my personal bag along with drone. Good points!
2018-3-12
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WinnerKiller966
lvl.1

United Kingdom
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Hello,

Thanks for the info guys. Just got a Spark and I'm Looking Forward to flying it in Saudi Arabia. Leaving Tomorrow.

Thanks,
Winner
2019-8-18
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