Taking your Lily Next-Gen traveling? Consumer drone laws vary from place to place, and it’s good to know them before you take off to capture some really cool images of your adventures.
Common restrictions in most countries include how high you can fly, keeping your drone within your direct unaided line of sight at all times, not flying near airports, and not over or near people.
The second most common type of regulations, but not universal, include registering your drone and having proof of insurance covering damage to third parties with you. Likewise many countries prohibit flying at night, in adverse weather, and over densely populated areas.
All of those are basic good practices to follow.
In addition it’s a good idea to respect privacy by not recording images of people on their property or anywhere someone may have an expectation of privacy. In a few nations you’ll need the person’s permission before you can publish images of them. In France you’ll also need permission for publishing an image of a vehicle’s license plate. And Italy prohibits drone flight altogether over its beaches in summer, where people may be, so to speak, in their altogether.
Many jurisdictions forbid flight over or close to critical infrastructure such as industrial and energy facilities (e.g., dams, electrical transmission lines, oil and gas pipelines and power plants), military bases, police stations, prisons and railways. But also for some, waterways, highways and public streets.
National governments regulate drone flight, but individual states, provinces, and cities may have their own regulations. It’s a good idea to check these, especially if you want to fly at an event that attracts a crowd or if you’re headed to a park or nature reserve.
France and Spain have cute little cartoons to help you remember where not to fly.
We don’t have a cartoon for you but we have created a world map with detailed info for selected nations as an aid to your research: https://bit.ly/2Uo7JJQ.
Once you’re on site at where you want to fly it’s a good idea to look at a real-time interactive map. That’s because flight areas may be restricted on a moment’s notice. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration offers an app, B4UFLY, for Android and Apple mobile devices, and on the web, AirMap has a great worldwide map: https://app.airmap.io/.
Pro tip if you fly close to a no-fly zone: stay a half-mile (1 km.) back from its limit. In practice, consumer GPS data, software on a drone that interprets airspace restrictions, and software that displays restrictions on a map may differ due to GPS imprecision and one or more buffer zones in the software.
We’ve been talking about consumer drone flight. If you’re a commercial user, different rules apply to you. In the U.S., for starters, you must hold a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA: https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/part_107/.
Drone flight is fun and you can bring back stunning video from your travels that makes for unforgettable memories. A little preparation before you leave will help ensure you stay within local laws and regulations wherever you go.