Can I Fly Drone Near Airports? A Handy Guide


Are you planning on flying a drone near airports?

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 near airports?

In short, the answer is YES! You can fly drones near airports, 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 Near Airports

FAA Regulations on Flying Drones Near Airports

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

  1. For flight near airports in controlled airspace, drone operators must receive an airspace authorization prior to operation. Controlled airspace and other flying restrictions can be found on the B4UFLY app.
  2. Part 107 remote pilots and recreational flyers can get an airspace authorization for altitudes below the posted UAS Facility Map grid altitudes automatically from a LAANC service supplier.
  3. Use the FAADroneZone to request an airspace authorization if flying in areas that are in controlled airspace and not serviced by LAANC, flying under Part 107 in a “zero” grid area or above a UAS Facility Map grid value, or if you have a waiver under Part 107 and want to fly in controlled airspace using the waiver.
  4. For flights near airports in uncontrolled airspace that remain under 400’ above the ground, prior authorization is not required. Remote pilots and recreational flyers must be aware of and avoid traffic patterns and takeoff and landing areas, and must not interfere with operations at the airport. Uncontrolled airspace and other flying restrictions can be found on the B4UFLY app.


Security Concerns

Flying a drone near airports 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 Near Airports

  1. Collision risk: Drones flying near airports can collide with aircraft, putting passengers and crew at risk and potentially causing significant damage to the aircraft.
  2. Interference with communication: Drones can interfere with vital communication systems and navigational aids needed for the safe operation of aircraft in and around airports.
  3. Trespassing on restricted airspace: Flying drones near airports could lead to unauthorized access to restricted airspace, violating aviation regulations and compromising security.
  4. Intentional disruptions: Drones can be used to intentionally disrupt airport operations and create chaos, which might lead to delays, cancellations, and financial losses.
  5. Security threats: Drones with cameras or payloads could pose a risk to airport security, potentially carrying contraband or being used for surveillance and intelligence gathering.

Permissions and Permits

To fly drones near airports, operators must obtain proper permissions and permits, ensuring they adhere to safety measures and avoid creating hazards in an airport environment.

For controlled airspace, drone operators need to receive airspace authorization, which comes with altitude limitations and other operational provisions. These restrictions can be found on the B4UFLY app. As per civil aviation rules, drones should stay 8 kilometers away from airports and helipads, unless special situations permit closer operations, such as shielded operations.

Drone operations in B, C, D, and E airspace require an authorization waiver, while UAV operations in Class G airspace are legal without ATC authorization or prior notification to the airport management. Requests for Part 107 airspace waivers should be directed to FAA headquarters, which can deny requests posing risks to human-crewed aircraft. Airspace authorization through ATC radio communications is never accepted.

Also check:


1. Can I Fly Drones Near Airports if I am not a Licensed Drone Pilot?

No, you cannot fly a drone near airports if you are not a licensed drone pilot. Airports are considered no-fly zones for drones due to potential safety hazards and air traffic interference. Flying a drone without proper authorization and licensing can result in severe penalties and fines. To operate a drone near an airport, a licensed pilot must obtain proper clearance and follow specific guidelines to ensure the safety of other aircraft and individuals in the area.

2. Who can Authorize the Use of Drones Near Airports?

The authorization for the use of drones near airports is typically granted by the national aviation authority or regulatory body of the respective country, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. These authorities establish guidelines and protocols for flying drones, including distance restrictions from airports, with the primary aim of ensuring airspace safety. To obtain authorization, drone operators must comply with the established requirements, which may include submitting a request or obtaining a specific permit, depending on the jurisdiction.

3. Can the Police Fly Drones Near Airports?

Yes, the police and other authorized personnel can fly drones near airports under specific circumstances and with proper authorization. They must obtain approval from the respective aviation authorities, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, and follow strict operational guidelines to ensure safety and avoid interference with air traffic. These drones are typically used for law enforcement, security, and emergency response purposes.


In conclusion, before flying a drone near airports, 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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