Taking drone to USA

Anybody tell me what steps/procedures and possible items I will need to take my drone to America? Florida to be exact!

When I google it so much info and warning videos on YouTube! Any help/advice greatly appreciated!

Firstly, welcome to GADC!
If you have a moment, post a few words about yourself on #introductions. :+1:

The following post may be of interest … although, like the UK, things are constantly changing.

Flying in the USA - Licensing

The following sites give details by country - so check the USA bit.
The first also provides details by state … but that may be more relevant to US resident than visitors.


Others that have visited may give their take on things.

Welcome to Grey Arrows @Candicer24 :wave:t2:

I’m tagging @SpininB in to this thread as she’s flown in Florida before. And @flames7607 is going in April so he may have done some research on this destination already? :thinking:

I think @SputnikTheAirDog went last year, but unsure if he flew his drone there or not?

And @StevenPSCC has most definitely flown there :smiley:

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Thanks for the warm welcome :blush:

I’ll give these links you’ve attached a look!

Some of the footage I have seen is unreal! Keen to take photos and videos!

Many thanks and will await to see if anyone else has advice also!

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You need to register your drone with the FAA it cost $5 for a three year registration. You get a certificate and number the number MUST be applied on your drone. Great place to fly just be careful on beaches as helicopters are in abundance. Rules are very similar to U.K. if you need to contact ATC it’s really simple and they are really helpful if you are flying in a restricted area.
Florida has an unbelievable amount of airports so keep an eye out on the FAA website / app as you will not be aware of how close one is.
I had no issues last year in Florida. Good luck.


That’s really useful! I’ll get it registered soon then :slight_smile: in regards to the FAA app is it called B4U fly?

Also sorry to ask, in such a newbie! Do you put it in hand luggage or in the hold luggage?

Hoping to go around Clearwater beach and get some nice shots there permitting all ok and no aircrafts

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On the outside now. It used to be ok to stick a bit of paper under the battery, but now they want it visible.

Oh and don’t take off / land in National Parks. It’s banned and the FAA will prosecute based on a YouTube upload.

Other than that - have fun!


Carry on baggage, make sure to isolate any spare batteries. And yes the B4U fly app.

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Thank you so much for all your help! Have a lovely evening!

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Hi @Candicer24,

I’m off to the Gulf Coast of Florida in April. Been many many times, but first with my Mavic Air. I’ve done the registration with the FAA - very straightforward.

I do need to get some filters for the bright sunlight. The sand where we go can be almost pure white, so I want to combat the anticipated glare.

I did my PPL in Florida in the 1990’s - there are airports absolutely EVERYWHERE, so just do your homework, use the app, and I would even screenshot the map from the app on your phone when you fly. Not for the police (they are firm but fair) but for anyone asking if you are flying “legally”.

A final caveat - if in doubt - don’t fly




Register it with FAA - needs to have registrations number on outside of drone -costs $5 to regsiter -no license needed to fly just it’s weight requires it to be registered.

I have had no problem flyin in US with my drone - I allow extra time at security -I keep everything in the bag -remember you can’t check lithium ion batteries. I fly with 5 batteries and 2 drones in the same bag no issue.

Whereever I fly - if there are people around I try to let them know what I am doing before I fly out of respect for privacy.

A couple of good apps to know if legal for you to fly are

‘airmap’ and ‘b4ufly’

airmap gives you the phone number of local airport you are near - though technically calling to inform them you are flying isn’t an authorised way to fly w/in 5 ,iles of an airport I do that step if I am flying around regional airports and I write down the name of the controller and the time I called -act like ou know what you are doind and they treat like you do …

I give them the time and approximate location I am going to fly and assure them of my altitude

Hope this helps :!!


Great input - thanks everyone!

Very sound advice Bonny !

Appreciate your input everyone!

I’m all set and can’t wait :smiley:


Thanks everyone, some useful Florida info and tips given. I’m going to Central Florida later this year with my MP2. I am a stills photographer so will be looking for interesting subjects for that, rather than video. If anyone has suggestions for possible locations, such as good “birds eye” views I’d be very grateful, bearing in mind State Parks, airports etc etc.

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We’re travelling to the US for 10 days, my wife’s having surgery there so we’re going to be holed up in a St Louis, Missouri hotel room for a week. Bound to get a few short trips out so I’m trying to decide whether to take the Mavic or not.
I’m nervous about different regulations. I realise I would have to register with the FAA but it only costs a fiver, and it seems that most of the rules are very similar, but there’s always a chance of getting in trouble.
It looks like there are some quiet places alongside the mighty Mississippi and there must be some great sights on the outskirts of the city.
Do you think I should welcome the exciting opportunity or settle for a quiet life and leave it at home?

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Moved your post to continue an existing post on taking to USA.

Thanks Dave, sorry I didn’t notice the existing post.

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No probs! :+1::+1:

Take it,take it,TAKE IT!!! You would be mad not to,and mad to miss such a golden opportunity…:+1::+1::grinning: Not to mention the huge regret you would feel when you get on the plane,and then when you come home!IIf you take it,remember,you don’t have to fly it,if you leave it at home,:sob::sob: SO,KEEP THAT OPTION OPEN!..Its only$5 after all…:+1::+1: