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Can You Take a Radio Controlled Drone On A Plane?

Posted by Lewis Green on

UK Airports, Such as Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester , impose restrictions on what items you can take in your hand luggage and hold luggage when boarding an aeroplane.

You can only take certain electronic devices and electronic items on flights in the UK. The rules may vary if goods are being taken abroad temporarily for business purposes or for sale. Make sure your electronic devices are charged before you travel. If your radio controlled drone or other electronic device does not switch on when requested, you will not be allowed to take it onto the aircraft. Some airlines may have different restrictions so you should check with your airline before you travel.

Can You Take A Radio Controlled Drone On A Plane?

A drone or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be carried on flights provided the following precautions are followed:
- If lithium-ion or lithium polymer batteries are used, the drone can be carried as hold luggage or hand luggage, as long as the drone can be protected from inadvertent activation.
- The size and weight limits of hold or hand luggage is not exceeded. Spare batteries must be protected from short circuit and damage, and can be carried in hand luggage only.
- For drones powered by batteries up to 100Wh, prior approval by the airline is not usually required. For drones with batteries exceeding 100Wh but not exceeding 160Wh, prior approval by the airline will usually be required.
- Drones and batteries exceeding 160Wh are usually forbidden from being taken on a plane.
Most small consumer drone batteries have less than 100 Wh, but it’s important to verify the Wh of your specific batteries.
To determine watt hours, multiply the volts by the ampere hours (Wh = V x Ah).
Example: A 12-volt battery rated to 8 Amp hours is rated at 96 watt hours (12 x 8 = 96).

A number of countries have strict guidelines on the use of drones and some countries do not allow drones to be used at all. Please check the local regulation of your destination country before you travel. In the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority has produced guidelines on the safe and legal use of drones:


Radio Controlled’s Top Drone Travel Tips

• Check your airlines position on carrying drones in hand or hold luggage before you travel
• Research the country’s drone laws.
• Check for any foreigner-specific drone laws. Some countries require foreigners to obtain special permissions to fly a drone that their citizens are not subject to.
• Determine whether or not you’re required to register your drone with the country’s national or civil aviation authority.
• Follow the county’s requirements for drone licensing and certification.
• When traveling to countries where it is illegal to fly drones It is possible that your drone will be confiscated at customs. It may or may not be returned to you at the end of your trip upon leaving the country on your return flight.
• When traveling to countries where no drone laws are established, you should not assume that you’ll be able to bring or fly your drone in that country.

Check out our range of remote control helicopters and RC Drones in the UK

Check out our range of remote control planes and radio control jet toys in the UK