Can I Fly Drone in an Authorization Zone? A Handy Guide


Are you planning on flying a drone in an authorization zone?

Before you take off, it’s important to know whether or not it’s legal to do so. The rules and regulations regarding drone flight can vary depending on the location, so it’s important to do your research beforehand.

In this article, I’ll answer the question: can you fly a drone in an authorization zone?

In short, the answer is YES! You can fly drones in an authorization zone, but there are some important considerations and regulations to keep in mind.

The laws around drone flight can be complex. So, I’ll also let you know about FAA regulations, security concerns, permissions needed, and penalties (if any) so that you’re fully informed.

Can I Fly Drone in an Authorization Zone

FAA Regulations on Flying Drones in an Authorization Zone

Even though it’s allowed to fly drones in an authorization zone, here are some FAA regulations that you need to keep in mind:

  1. In an Authorization Zone, all drone flight is restricted by default, but unlike a Restricted Zone, there are caveats that allow verified DJI account holders to fly.
  2. Drone pilots with a verified DJI account can self-unlock their drones to bypass geofencing rules and gain access to Authorization Zones.
  3. Self-unlocking can be done through the DJI GO app, and the unlock usually lasts for at least 24 hours.
  4. For pilots who need permission to fly in an Authorization Zone beyond self-unlocking, a custom unlock option is also available.


Security Concerns

Flying a drone in an authorization zone comes with its own set of unique security concerns, which are worth considering before launching your drone. Here are some potential security concerns to keep in mind.

Security Concerns for Flying Drones in an Authorization Zone

  1. Interference: Drones can cause interference with communication systems or other essential equipment within the authorization zone, affecting operations or safety.
  2. Privacy: Unauthorized drones may violate individuals’ privacy by capturing images or videos in restricted areas, leading to potential legal issues.
  3. Collision risk: Drones flying in authorization zones might collide with other aircraft, structures, or people, causing damage or injuries.
  4. Security breaches: Drones can be used for espionage or unauthorized surveillance, potentially compromising the security of sensitive locations within the authorization zone.
  5. Illegal activities: Drones can facilitate criminal activities such as smuggling or vandalism within authorization zones, leading to law enforcement and safety concerns.

Permissions and Permits

To fly a drone in an Authorization Zone, you must obtain permission through either self-unlocking or custom unlocking, both of which require a verified DJI account.

Self-unlocking is done through the DJI GO app and lasts a minimum of 24 hours, whereas custom unlocking requires prior authorization to fly in the desired zone.

The self-unlocking process involves logging in to your DJI account, selecting your drone’s make and model, locating the Geo Zone on the map, and inputting your flight control serial number. You will then agree to the terms and verify your identity. For custom unlocking, you’ll need to provide basic information, including your verified DJI account, name, authorization documentation, operation details, and flight controller serial number. Then, you can select your drone model and the Geo Map location, mark the unlocking area, input additional information, and confirm. Custom unlock requests are reviewed by DJI and may take over an hour for approval.

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1. Can I Fly Drones in an Authorization Zone if I am not a Licensed Drone Pilot?

No, you cannot fly a drone in an Authorization Zone if you are not a licensed drone pilot. Authorization Zones are designated areas where drone flights are restricted, and require special authorization from the relevant regulatory authorities. To obtain this authorization, you must be a licensed drone pilot and follow specific operating procedures and guidelines. Attempting to fly a drone in an Authorization Zone without a proper license can lead to penalties, legal consequences, and potential safety hazards for both the drone operator and others in the area.

2. Who can Authorize the Use of Drones in an Authorization Zone?

The authorization for the use of drones in an Authorization Zone is typically granted by the local aviation authority or the controlling agency responsible for managing airspace in that specific area. Drone pilots must obtain permission by following the stipulated procedures, which may involve providing flight details, purpose of the operation, and the drone’s technical specifications. Additionally, some countries require pilots to have a valid drone license or certification to fly in these zones.

3. Can the Police Fly Drones in an Authorization Zone?

Yes, the police can fly drones in an Authorization Zone, as they often have special permissions and exemptions for law enforcement and public safety operations. However, they are still required to follow specific guidelines, obtain necessary approvals, and coordinate with appropriate authorities to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations.


In conclusion, before flying a drone in an authorization zone, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the appropriate resources and tools. Download the B4UFLY mobile app to easily find safe and legal flying locations.

Drone laws are subject to change, and information in this blog may become outdated; always consult official sources for the latest regulations.

And if you have a related query, kindly feel free to let me know in the comments.

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Peter Karanja is a licensed drone pilot from Kenya, freelance writer and drone enthusiast. He has been using drones for land survey, GIS, and photography for the past three years. Being a drone user, he loves writing about drone applications, safety tips for using drones, and the best ways to get the most out of a drone.

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