Can You Take a Drone on a Plane Australia

Can You Take a Drone on a Plane Australia

In this article, we will explore the regulations surrounding taking a drone on a plane in Australia.

Whether you are a professional drone pilot or a hobbyist, it is crucial to understand the rules and restrictions in order to ensure a safe and compliant journey.

From size and weight limits to advance notice requirements, we will discuss everything you need to know before planning to bring your drone on board an Australian flight.

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Australian Drone Plane Travel Regulations

Regarding the regulations for drone travel on planes in Australia, it is important to follow specific guidelines and restrictions to ensure compliance and safety. One crucial aspect to consider is drone battery storage and transportation.

When carrying a drone as hand luggage, the batteries, usually lithium polymer, must always be packed in your carry-on luggage. It is recommended to cover the battery terminal points to prevent any potential fire hazards.

As for checked luggage, the drone itself can be packed, but the batteries must be removed and carried in the cabin. However, leaving a battery in the drone is generally acceptable.

It is essential to note that all spare batteries and power banks must be carried as carry-on baggage only. Lithium-ion batteries not exceeding 100Wh are generally allowed, while those exceeding 160Wh are forbidden as passenger baggage and must be sent as freight.

Additionally, the battery terminals should be protected by taping over the exposed terminals.

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Carrying Drone Batteries on Australian Flights

The transportation of drone batteries on Australian flights is subject to specific guidelines and restrictions.

To ensure the safety of passengers and crew, as well as to prevent potential hazards, there are several drone battery restrictions and safety precautions that need to be followed.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Drone batteries, typically lithium polymer, must be packed in carry-on luggage due to safety risks associated with mishandling or incorrect carriage.
  • Each airline may have its own policies regarding the carriage of lithium-ion batteries, so it is important to check with the specific airline you are flying with.
  • Batteries with a rating of not more than 100 Wh are generally allowed in carry-on luggage, but there may be restrictions on the number of batteries allowed.
  • Batteries with a rating between 100 and 160 Wh require airline approval, and only two spare batteries within this range are permitted per passenger in carry-on baggage.
  • Batteries with a rating above 160 Wh are not permitted on passenger airplanes and must be consigned as cargo.

It is also important to protect the battery terminals by taping over them, as some airlines may require this to prevent fire hazards. Additionally, some airlines may require passengers to declare their lithium-ion batteries during check-in.

Remember to always adhere to the specific regulations and guidelines set by the airline to ensure a smooth and safe journey.

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Size & Weight Limits for Drones

Drones’ size and weight must adhere to specific limits set by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) in Australia. These regulations ensure the safe operation of drones and minimize the risk of accidents or interference with other aircraft.

In Australia, there are different drone weight categories for recreational and commercial use. For recreational use, drones weighing more than 250 grams must be flown at least 5.5 kilometers away from controlled airports.

This helps to avoid potential collisions with manned aircraft. For commercial use, the weight restrictions vary. If you are flying a drone for work or your employer, you must have an operator accreditation to fly a drone weighing 2 kg or less, or between 2 kg and 25 kg, but only over your own land.

If you intend to fly a drone weighing more than 2 kg, you may need a remote pilot license (RePL) and operate for an individual or business that holds a remotely piloted aircraft operator’s certificate (ReOC).

It’s worth noting that the maximum drone weight in Australia is 25 kg (55 pounds). If you wish to fly a drone exceeding this weight limit, you will need special permission from CASA.

To ensure compliance with these regulations, it is essential to be aware of the drone weight restrictions and size limitations set by CASA.

By adhering to these guidelines, drone operators can ensure the safety of their flights and contribute to the responsible and legal use of drones in Australia.

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Advance Notice to Airlines for Drones

When traveling with a drone, it is important to provide advance notice to airlines. This ensures that you comply with airline regulations and adhere to drone transportation policies.

Here are some key points to consider when notifying airlines about your drone:

  • Check the airline’s specific policies: Different airlines may have different rules regarding the transportation of drones. It is crucial to review and understand these policies before your flight.
  • Notify the airline in advance: Give the airline advance notice that you will be traveling with a drone. This allows them to make any necessary arrangements and inform you of any specific requirements or restrictions.
  • Follow travel restrictions: Be aware of any travel restrictions in place for drones. Some countries have specific regulations regarding drone usage and importation. Ensure that you comply with these restrictions to avoid any legal issues.
  • Pack your drone properly: Make sure your drone is properly packed and secured for transportation. Follow the airline’s guidelines for packing and ensure that the batteries are properly stored to prevent any accidents.
  • Carry necessary documentation: Carry any necessary documentation, such as your drone registration certificate or licenses, to prove that you are authorized to fly the drone.
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State-Specific Drone Flying Permits in Australia

State-specific drone flying permits in Australia require individuals to obtain permission from the respective state authorities before operating a drone within their jurisdiction.

Each state in Australia has its own set of regulations and restrictions when it comes to drone flights. It is important for drone operators to familiarize themselves with these state-specific rules to ensure compliance and avoid penalties for drone violations.

The following table provides a summary of the state-specific regulations and guidelines for drone flights in Australia:

StateDrone Flight RestrictionsDrone Registration ProcessDrone Safety Guidelines
New South Wales– Drone flights are prohibited in national parks and reserves<br>- Drones must not be operated within 30 meters of people<br>- Drone pilots must maintain visual line-of-sight– Register your drone with Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA)– Fly during daylight hours only<br>- Do not fly higher than 120 meters above ground level<br>- Keep a safe distance from other aircraft, people, and property
Victoria– Drones are not allowed to take off or land within national parks and reserves<br>- Drone pilots must not fly over or above people or in populous areas<br>- Maintain a visual line-of-sight at all times– Register your drone with CASA– Fly during daylight hours only<br>- Do not fly above 120 meters from the ground<br>- Stay at least 30 meters away from people
Queensland– Drone flights are prohibited in certain restricted areas, such as correctional facilities and youth justice facilities<br>- Drones must not be operated within 30 meters of people or above populated areas<br>- Visual line-of-sight must be maintained– Register your drone with CASA– Fly during daylight hours only<br>- Do not fly higher than 120 meters above the ground<br>- Keep a safe distance from people, property, and other aircraft

It is important for drone operators to adhere to these state-specific regulations and guidelines to ensure safe and responsible drone flying. Failure to comply with these rules may result in penalties or legal consequences.

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Consequences of Violating Drone Regulations

Failure to comply with drone regulations can result in severe consequences, including financial penalties and potential criminal charges.

It is important to understand the risks of non-compliance to ensure a safe and legal flying experience.

Here are some of the consequences you may face for violating drone regulations in Australia:

  • Financial consequences: Violating drone regulations can lead to hefty fines imposed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA). These fines can range from $1,565 per offence to as high as $15,650 if the matter goes to court.
  • Legal penalties: Operating a drone in a way that endangers people or property can result in criminal charges. Flying in restricted airspace or interfering with emergency operations can also lead to legal consequences.
  • Criminal charges: Pilots who fly drones in a reckless manner or interfere with the safe conduct of air transport can face criminal charges. These charges can result in imprisonment for up to 2 years.
  • Non-compliance risks: Failure to comply with drone regulations can result in being convicted of a crime or being restricted from flying altogether. It is crucial to understand and follow all relevant regulations to avoid these risks.
  • Restricted flying: Violating drone regulations may lead to restrictions on your ability to fly drones in certain areas or at all. This can severely limit your drone activities and impact your ability to enjoy the hobby or conduct commercial operations.

To avoid these consequences, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the drone regulations in Australia and ensure compliance at all times.


In conclusion, it is important for travelers to be aware of the regulations regarding carrying drones on planes in Australia.

These regulations include restrictions on drone size and weight, the need for advance notice to airlines, and the requirement for state-specific flying permits.

Violating these regulations can have consequences.

Therefore, it is crucial to follow the guidelines set by the Australian authorities to ensure a smooth and compliant travel experience.

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