Are Quadcopters Allowed on Planes?
Are quadcopters allowed on planes? This is a question that most people eventually have to ask themselves if they really have anything to do with quadcopters at all. Sooner or later, you might want to travel with your quadcopter. Whether you are traveling specifically for something that is directly related to your quadcopter or you just want to show it off to family and friends, it is always good to know whether or not you can transport it on an aircraft before you actually get to the airport. Since it is difficult to understand exactly what is allowed on airliners and what isn’t these days, it is a valid question that you have to ask yourself. The truth is, knowing the answer ahead of time can save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Not a Problem!
Believe it or not, most airlines will allow you to travel with a quadcopter and in most cases, it won’t cause a problem at the TSA checkpoints. For some people, this is extremely hard to believe but it is equally hard to decipher with any true level of understanding what the TSA deems acceptable and what it decides to reject. Generally speaking, you can take the quadcopter and in some cases, even the camera and you won’t have a problem as long as you keep it all in a separate bag and you tell the TSA agent up front what is in that bag and what you intend on doing with it. Expect it to take a little while longer in the security line because they are likely to run everything through a few extra checkpoints in order to determine whether or not it is all truly safe.
Where are you might run into trouble is trying to take the batteries along with you. Typically, rechargeable batteries are closely regulated by the TSA so if you have a relatively small quadcopter that has an equally small rechargeable battery, you can probably take it along with you but if it is a larger version, you will not be allowed to take the batteries onto the aircraft.
Therefore, your best course of action is to take the quadcopter with you and then simply plan on purchasing new batteries when you get to your destination. This might seem frustrating, but if you are operating a larger quadcopter it might be the only recourse that you have at your disposal.
In addition, you could sometimes run into problems if you are attempting to carry all of this luggage onto the aircraft with you. Typically, the TSA prefers that you put it in checked baggage but in an abrupt about-face, they will sometimes not object to you placing the quadcopter in carry-on luggage. It almost seems that the rules and regulations governing quadcopters change on a daily basis. A lot of this happens because they are still relatively new items and the TSA, along with virtually everyone else, is still trying to figure out exactly how to deal with them in an ever-changing world.
What does all of this really mean for you? It means that if you have any doubts, you should contact the airport you plan on flying out of and finding out whether or not this is going to be a problem. It also might be a good idea to contact the airline directly, as some airlines have different policies regarding items like these.