Can I Fly Drone Near Power Lines? A Handy Guide


Are you planning on flying a drone near power lines?

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 power lines?

In short, the answer is YES! You can fly drones near power lines, 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 Power Lines

FAA Regulations on Flying Drones Near Power Lines

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

  1. Always maintain a safe distance of 100-150 feet from power lines, electrical substations, and other electrical equipment to avoid interference with radio signals and potential crashes.
  2. Never attempt to retrieve a drone caught in power lines or crashed into utility poles or substations. Instead, contact the electric cooperative or call 911 for assistance.
  3. Adhere to FAA guidelines, such as keeping your drone within the visual line-of-sight, not flying above 400 feet, and following airspace restrictions.
  4. Always have your drone in your field-of-vision, especially when flying near power lines, to ensure better awareness of the wires and avoid potential accidents.


Security Concerns

Flying a drone near power lines 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 Power Lines

  1. Electrical interference: Drones near power lines can experience signal disruptions, causing loss of control and potential collisions.
  2. Magnetic interference: Power lines emit strong magnetic fields which can affect a drone’s compass, leading to navigation issues.
  3. Accidental contact: Close proximity increases the risk of drones accidentally touching power lines, causing damage or even electrocution.
  4. Power outages: Crashing into power lines could lead to widespread power outages, impacting communities and infrastructure.
  5. Legal repercussions: Flying drones near power lines may violate local regulations, resulting in fines or legal penalties.

Permissions and Permits

Flying drones near power lines requires adherence to specific regulations and obtaining necessary permissions and permits to ensure safety and avoid interference with essential infrastructure.

Pilots must abide by local aviation authority guidelines, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States, which mandate maintaining a safe distance from power lines and other obstacles.

Furthermore, operators should acquire permission from utility companies to fly in close proximity to their infrastructure. Depending on the jurisdiction, additional permits related to airspace restrictions and privacy concerns might also be required. It is crucial to research and comply with all applicable regulations before flying a drone near power lines.

Also check:


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

No, flying a drone near power lines is not recommended for unlicensed drone pilots. Power lines pose a significant risk to drone operations, as the electromagnetic interference from the lines could cause a loss of control, and collisions could result in damage to the drone, power lines, or even power outages. Additionally, flying in close proximity to power lines may violate local aviation regulations and safety guidelines. It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the applicable rules and obtain the required licenses before operating a drone in such environments.

2. Who can Authorize the Use of Drones Near Power Lines?

The authorization to use drones near power lines typically comes from the local utility company that manages the power lines and the appropriate aviation authority, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. Pilots must adhere to any airspace restrictions and obtain necessary waivers or permissions before operating drones near power lines to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations.

3. Can the Police Fly Drones Near Power Lines?

Yes, the police can fly drones near power lines, provided they follow the necessary safety precautions and guidelines established by the regulatory authorities. Law enforcement agencies often use drones for various purposes, such as surveillance, crime scene investigation, and search and rescue operations. However, they must ensure that their drone flights do not interfere with the normal functioning of power lines or pose any risk to public safety.


In conclusion, before flying a drone near power lines, 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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