Taking a drone overseas is complicated at the best of times. Choosing the right equipment to take, packing your gear up securely and getting it through airport security are all headaches that pilots flying abroad have to face. And that’s before you’ve even landed in your destination. But the biggest challenge is complying with local regulations, which will almost certainly differ from what you’re used to.
You can spend hours trawling through government websites and national aviation bodies’ legislation and still be no closer to knowing how to fly your drone according to local laws. What’s needed is an easy-to-use, community-driven platform providing everything you need to know in one place.
This is DroneMate. It starts with an interactive map for recreational pilots keen to fly abroad. It’s been put together by travel blogger Anil Polat. It’s easy to use and offers the basics of drone laws in most of countries around the world. There are also sections covering individual states in the USA.
Countries are coded by color into three categories:
- Green: means that “drone use is generally allowed”
- Yellow: Drone use is limited or may require a registration process
- Red: The importing or use is prohibited or otherwise heavily restricted
- Grey: No data or there are no defined or applicable UAV laws
The full map is hosted on Google Maps. There are also smartphone apps containing the same data, should you want access to it on the go. The app is available for Android and iOS for $4.99.
Read more: Traveling With Your Drone: Do Your Homework to Capture Majestic Scenery
DroneMate is a regularly updated map of the recreational drone laws for every country in the world. The information is pulled from official sources and contacts so you know where you can fly, the rules to abide by, and the places where you should leave your drone at home.
The idea is to save you time, money and hassle at customs. Once you pay for the app, the map is available offline so you don’t need an internet connection to use it on the go.
DroneMate is updated regularly. It also has a user comment system where travelers can add their experiences droning, importing and dealing with authorities in each specific country. The comments are useful in situations where the authorities themselves are confused or unaware of the laws.