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Fly abroad smoothly

Going abroad with our drone-UAV and then flying there presupposes knowledge of the rules about the use of drones outside the national territory. Can it be used indiscriminately? What rules apply in EU and non-EU countries? Let’s see where to get the information and how to organize ourselves.

Country you go rule you find

Each country has its own rules on drones, more or less advanced, which tourists must comply with under penalty of serious measures. Before deciding whether to take the drone abroad, it is good to do a survey of the country of destination regarding the drone ISO.

In Cuba, for example, the use of the drone is not allowed – both for hobby and professional uses – in any part of the national territory. In Egypt the use of the drone is prohibited as well as in Tunisia. It should also be noted that in some countries it is already a problem to go to the baggage check with a drone in tow. Imagine flying there!

How to behave?

It is therefore essential to know in advance the rules for flying with the drone in force in the country you want to visit. Note that contacting the embassy does not always solve the problem and travel agencies are not informed. So if we decide to go abroad in the company of our drone, good DIY plays an important role!

To know therefore, what is the legislation in force for flying with the drone in a certain country you have to refer to the Web. The big problem is that many sites do not update the data and the news is often obsolete.

Web site

A good resource, which is updated continuously (last update 02.10.2019), is the one available fromDrone Laws For Every Country in The World.

Once you have accessed the site, the underlying planisphere will be displayed where, for each country, a “location” symbol is shown, with 4 possible color variations. The symbol, depending on the color, indicates the presence/absence of rules/laws for the use of drones.

Droni Mappa interattiva dei Regolamenti per il volo
Interactive map of flight regulations

The meaning of the colors is as follows:

  • Green: the use of drones is generally allowed;
  • Yellow: the use of drones is limited or may require complicated registration / authorization processes;
  • Red: the use and import of drones is prohibited or severely restricted;
  • Gray: No data or no drone/UAV laws defined or applicable.

App

The map is also available as an App, for smartphones / tablets for both iOS and Android with the name of “DroneMate“.

Unfortunately it is not free. It costs $ 4.49 (approximately € 4.20), for the iOS version and € 5.49 for the Android version. Access to the website is free and has no limitations.

Icona App DroneMate
Icon App DroneMate – Google Play

Tips for transporting the drone

Rules for boarding the drone

Verified the possibility of being able to fly abroad with the drone, before embarking, it is important to follow some basic rules on how and whether to embark the drone to avoid problems both in the departure and arrival phases.

Aereo Imbarco drone
Can I Boarding the drone? Source pixabay.com – free fro commercial use – Author skeeze

First of all, it is important to know that the drone can travel both as hand luggage and in the hold. In the case of transport of the drone in the cabin, this must be of the dimensions and weight allowed for hand baggage. It must be housed in its own case or in the one purchased ad hoc. Locking the gimbal is always recommended.

If instead you travel in the hold, it is good to place it in a solid suitcase, to avoid damage due to the unorthodox management of baggage at the airports. It is important to remove the propellers, disassemble or protect the gimbal properly and properly pack the frame.

Transporting Li.Po. batteries

The transport of Li.Po lithium polymer batteries deserves a separate discussion (see acronyms). These should not be placed in checked baggage, but carried in hand baggage. The reason why it is not possible to make them travel in the hold is because the environment is not pressurized and the temperature is not controlled as in the cabin. So the risk of explosions is possible.

Batteria Li.Po.- Drone Spark
Batteria Li.Po. for Drone Spark – Source DJI webstore

In addition, there are limitations regarding the number of batteries that can be loaded into the hand baggage per passenger that must be respected. The rule that must be respected is linked to the number of Watt-hours (Wh). If the batteries are below 100Wh, they can carry up to 20 per passenger. If the value is between 101-160 Wh instead the limit is two batteries per person. Batteries larger than 160 Wh cannot travel.

Just for reference, the batteries of the DJI Mavic are 43.6 Wh, while those of the Inspire 2 are 97.58 Wh, those of a Parrot are 27.7 Wh.

Regarding the battery rules, further information, in English, is available on the IATA (International Air Transport Association) website.

It is however advisable to refer to the airline to know the limits on the number of Li.Po batteries. to be transported on board.

Li.Po. safe guard

Li.Po. batteries are dangerous because they are considered unstable. An increase in temperature or a shock, due to assembly problems, could cause them to explode and / or cause fires. Of which the need to always use caution in the transport of these batteries, and especially in the case of transport by plane.

Li.Po. Safe Guard
Li.Po. Safe Guard – Source Amazon

To bring Li.Po. batteries on board, it is preferable to use ad hoc containers, known as the name of Li.Po. safe guard available for all types of Li.Po batteries. by drone.

In practice it is a protective case (hence the name safe), made of a fireproof material, suitable to minimize the effects of bursting or fire of the battery. The investment for the purchase of safe gaurd is minimal and will avoid problems when checking hand baggage when boarding.

Conclusions

The holiday must be a positive experience in every respect. Going abroad with the drone, flying there to capture breathtaking landscapes or situations, can undoubtedly enhance it.

Here are some simple tips to remember:

  • before deciding whether to bring your drone with you, check the rules on how to fly with the drone in the country you will visit, through the link above or through the Apps;
  • also contact the airline or airlines in case of multiple flight, to check the limitations on the transport of Li.Po batteries .;
  • get spare parts for the drone, such as propellers, an additional SD card to record videos and photos and screwdrivers for small interventions.
  • pack your drone with care, protect the gimbal or remove it and keep the batteries in the appropriate cases

And now … lets’ begin the journey!.


Note regarding the images: Some of the images showed in the article are taken from pixabay.com, and are free for commercial use, without attribution request. Other images are taken from DJI store and Amazon and Google Play for the DroneMate App icon. Each image however mentions the author who is its legitimate owner. The use of the images is exclusively for the purpose of a better understanding of the contents of the article. The highlighted image was created by 4mydrone.

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Last Updated on/Ultimo aggiornamento - 23/04/2020

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