Hey traveling guys and gals! Today I’ll be giving you some tips and advice advice on traveling with a drone to London and other locations. Bringing it into the UK was just fine. I’m sitting here at a Nero Cafe in a gorgeous neighborhood in London called Islington… this is seriously my favorite place in London because its super cute, trendy and not as expensive as some place like Kensington or Notting Hill and its also within about 1 or 2 miles of other places in London like the Thames, Soho and Hyde Park.
If you dont know me personally, know that I just flew from Marrakech, Morocco to London, England, well not just but on April 27th via British Airways. Here’s a bit more information about me for context . Here in Marrakech, my drone, the DJI Mini 2 was seized upon arrival at Marrakech Airport and held by customs. Want to know why I didn’t know it would be seized? Because there is erroneous information on google … oops! The first result on Google said drones are allowed but this is not for the amateur hobbyist like myself its for a professional who gets a license ahead of time. Luckily upon exit I got it back and now its safely back in my backpack!
Here are a few tips to travel with it… A good rule of thumb is that most middle eastern and north African countries do not allow drones, for example countries like Egypt and Algeria, partially because of security concerns; european countries are much more relaxed. There are a few other countries that don’t allow them. Montenegro has new rules at airport customs. At present, I’m not flying there, but I did bus it through Montenegro and they did not search my luggage at the border, however there are news stories where drones have been seized by customs officers at the airport link HERE. Going forward, I’ll definitely be checking with future customs offices as well as possibly US embassies in destination countries.
One destination I’ve had my eyes on is Paris. Paris is a no fly zone but I think I should be able to launch the drone in the French countryside without having it seized. Here’s a photo I took over in Sutomore, Montenegro..
A few other considerations – one of the reasons I got the Mini 2 drone from DJI is the tradeoff of lower weight and compact size without compromising on professional quality photos. Its 249 grams so about 9 oz. It is also small enough to where it doesn’t require registration in the USA with the FAA as an airplane. The drone controller weighs 13 oz and the case, weighs 13 oz, so around 2.3 lbs total weight. I needed a drone that was small enough to fit inside my carry on backpack which is 45 liters. This foots the bill.
Other drone laws… if you have passed entry into the country I think you’ve gotten through the hardest part. Once inside, make sure to check the flight rules. At present time, DJI blocks any take off of a drone within a certain distance of an airport, perhaps a distance of 1 to 3 miles, worldwide. In the USA, flights above 400 feet are disallowed. As you can see here, the Mini 2 can fly up to an electronically controlled 1600 feet. You can watch me fly this high on my YOUTUBE CHANNEL HERE.