Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Drones

illustration of a drone carrying a packageIndividuals or entities that transport dangerous goods via Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or drones must meet the same regulatory requirements of manned aircraft. A brief description of applicable regulations as they apply to drones is listed below:

  • Many UAS operations may be conducted under 14 CFR Part 107, known as the Small UAS Rule. Package delivery operations may be permitted under specific conditions. However, the carriage/transportation of dangerous goods under Part 107 is prohibited at all times, and is not subject to waiver.
  • 14 CFR Part 135 certification is the regulatory path that small drones must follow to carry the property of another for compensation beyond visual line of sight. Part 135 UAS or drone certificate holders must develop dangerous goods training programs and manuals as part of the 14 CFR Part 135 Air Carrier and Operator Certification Process. During the Part 135 Certification process, AXH and the Office of Aviation Safety (AVS) work collaboratively with applicants to ensure all safety requirements are met. These requirements are the same as what is expected for traditional, crewed Part 135 on-demand certificate holders. We support the FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program, as well as the FAA's BEYOND program, by working with industry, state, local, and tribal governments to help realize the benefits of drones while informing the development of a more mature drone regulatory framework.
  • 14 CFR Part 137 applies to drones used in agricultural operations or other special aircraft operations where dangerous goods are dispensed in flight. To obtain authorization to operate under this regulation, contact your local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) to start the certification process. They will work with the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety (AXH) as needed.

Traveling With Your Drone/UAS

When you take your drone with you onboard passenger aircraft – whether you use drones for recreation, commercial activities, or as a public aircraft operator – your drone might be a dangerous good! Lithium batteries, fuel cells, and components of certain parachute systems can all be classified as dangerous goods.

Download a copy of our Drone/UAS Passenger Brochure – Your Drone Might Be a Dangerous Good (PDF). Also, see FAA's PackSafe page to make sure you travel safely with your UAS.


Last updated: Thursday, June 16, 2022