Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about taking your drone through the TSA. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.
I had a question regarding going through airport security with a drone. I have a DJI Phantom 3 and want to know if I have to remove the drone from its bag when going through security?
Ah, traveling with a drone! The answers seem to change based on who, and when you ask.
First, let me make it clear: you can bring a drone through airport security if you are traveling in the U.S. Here’s the wording, directly from the TSA’s website:
“Drones are allowed through the checkpoint. Please check with your airline for their policy.”
But to answer your question more specifically about whether you have to remove it from your bag? That answer is more unclear.
The TSA does require you to remove large electronic items, such as laptops and printers from their bags, but it’s unclear whether a drone is a “large” electronic item, or if it’s more in line with a small electronic item, such as a smartphone, which you don’t have to remove. The TSA sometimes even requests that you remove books from your bag when going through screening!
Based on my experience alone, it varies not just by airport, but by who is doing the screening.
I was just traveling this summer in Canada as part of a trip to the Arctic Circle with Quark Expeditions. The airport in Edmonton, Canada specifically told me to not remove my drone (I asked the screener as I got in line!). However, the security in Calgary, Canada stopped me and had to check my bags.
— Sally French (@TheDroneGirl) July 5, 2018
My advice is this: politely ask the screener at the front of the security process what they suggest. Say, “By the way, I have a drone that weighs about 3 pounds in my bag. Do I have to take it out?” Continue reading Do I have to remove the drone from its bag when going through airport security?