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Can I Bring My Drone on a Plane?

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

“Can I bring my drone on a plane?” is a very common question we receive as the answers differs among drone operators across the globe. This is very confusing and frustrating, hence we’ve prepared a list of areas to look out for while traveling with your drone on airplanes.

Keep Drone Batteries in Your Carry-on Bag

Rechargeable lithium ion batteries including drone batteries must always be carried in carry-on baggage. The standard airline regulations limit passengers to only two lithium ion batteries over 100 watt hours (Wh). There is no limit for most batteries under 100 watt hours.

For instance, DJI Mavic batteries are at 43.6 Wh so you allowed to bring as many as you need. However, certain high-capacity batteries fall within the 101-160 range, so you’ll only be able to carry a maximum of two batteries.

However, be sure to check aviation administration regulations in the country to which you’re traveling to and check your respective airline’s rules.

In a Facebook Announcement by Malaysia Airlines on 29 May 2019, the airline listed down the following conditions:

  1. Drone carried on board is lithium battery powered and not fuel operated.

  2. A maximum of only two drones per passenger (standard cabin baggage policy applies).

  3. Lithium battery drones comply with Malaysia Airlines’ lithium batteries limitations.

  4. Lithium batteries are removed, packed individually and carried on board as cabin baggage.

  5. Your drone cannot be used on-board.

Packing Your Drone Using a Protective Bag or Case

Depending on the size of your drone and number of additional accessories you want to travel with, you would need to decide if you would like to check-in or carry-on your drone.

A hard-shell bag or case is your most ideal form of protection for your drone. This is definitely the best choice if you have a larger drone like the DJI Matrice Series.

DJI has a wide selection of protective bags and cases for different drone models. Also consider getting a fire-retardant bag for your drone batteries.

Pack a Repair Kit and Extra Propellers

Just like preparing for any other drone operation, always remember to pack extra propellers. A basic repair kit would also be useful to make adjustments or removing debris.

Check Local Drone Laws

As laws and regulations are different in different countries, always respect the regulations of the country you are visiting and check with the country’s aviation authority for latest updates.

We hope this would be helpful to you and continue to fly safe! Drone Academy Asia is Malaysia's Leader in Drone Training and Consulting for individuals and enterprises. If you are thinking about drones and want to know how to start, contact us today.

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