Can You Fly a Drone in Reykjavik?

Reykjavik is the biggest city in Iceland and its capital. You can learn about the Icelandic Vikings at its museums, marvel at the architecture of its domes and churches, or soak in a spa.

You’d love to visit Reykjavik with your drone.

Can you fly a drone in Reykjavik?

According to the Icelandic Transport Authority, you can fly a drone in Reykjavik. However, you have to follow European Union Aviation Safety Agency and Icelandic Transport Authority rules.

If you’re soon planning a trip to Reykjavik and want to learn all the pertinent drone laws, you’ve come to the right place.

This guide will explore where you can fly and when, so make sure you check it out!

Can you fly a drone in Reykjavik?

As mentioned in the intro, the Icelandic Transport Authority establishes drone flight rules in Iceland.

That’s in consultation with the Environment Agency and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, which countries in the European Union abide by.

Under those drone rules, commercial and recreational pilots can operate a drone in Reykjavik.

You must follow the appropriate drone rules when in the sky. We also recommend using a drone app, especially when traveling to another country.

You could experience language barriers on your travels, but you’re still expected to know the pertinent Icelandic drone laws, nevertheless.

A drone app with real-time maps will indicate where you can fly versus where you can’t without the need to know a word of Icelandic.

Remember, red areas denote no-fly zones, and yellow areas are warning zones. If you see any blue bubbles spaced across the map, you likely cannot fly there either without authorization.

Where to fly a drone near Reykjavik

The whole of Iceland affords so many incredible, unforgettable drone flight opportunities.

We’ve narrowed it down to several places no further than two hours from Reykjavik for you to explore with your drone.

Loads of fun await!

1. Westfjords

The Westfjords region of Iceland is an administrative district. This part of northwestern Iceland has a low population count, so you never have to stress about large crowds.

Situated on the Denmark Strait, Westfjords is a heavily mountainous region named after its fjords or cliffside inlets.

Before you plan your visit, be aware that harsh weather like snow and ice can cause parts of Westfjords to shut down for months at a time.

Moreso, land communications can be iffy due to the fjords, so prepare accordingly before visiting with your drone.

2. Landmannalaugar

In the Fjallabak Nature Reserve in Iceland’s Highlands is Landmannalaugar, which is very close to Reykjavik.

The area connects to the Laugavegur hiking trail on its northern side, the same spot where the Iceland Touring Association hosts hikers.

Thus, you can expect Landmannalaugar to be more much populous than the Westfjords especially.

If you’re renting a car in Iceland, you cannot take rented vehicles on the roads to Landmannalaugar that allow motor vehicles. Since these are classified as F roads, you’d need a four-wheel-drive vehicle.

3. Bruarfoss

About an hour and a half from Reykjavik is Bruarfoss, a part of Iceland esteemed for its waterfall.

Nicknamed Bridge Falls, Bruarfoss isn’t the biggest waterfall in Iceland, but it’s still a beautiful one. It’s no wonder another name for Bruarfoss among the locals is Iceland’s Bluest Waterfall.

Keep in mind that Bruarfoss is another more remote part of Iceland, although not quite as much so as the Westfjords.

Still, charge up your drone and bring everything you need and maybe a few backup modes of communication to be safe.

You can take a rental car to Bruarfoss, which makes it more accessible to tourists like yourself.

4. Reykjanesfolkvangur

Only 40 minutes from Reykjavik is Reykjanesfolkvangur, a countryside region and reserve that safeguards the Reykjanes ridge volcano’s lava formations.

This area has a lot to see, including Krysuvikurberg, which has the biggest bird cliffs in the Southwest. Seltun is an active geothermal zone, while Kleifarvatn is a mineral lake and beach with black sands and hot springs.

The rusticism and remoteness of the area will give you peace and quiet to fly your drone, so don’t miss it.

5. Nauthusagil

Just under two hours away from Reykjavik is Nauthusagil in South Iceland. The ravine near the Eyjafjallajokull volcano and Stora-Mork farm grows rowan trees from which the trademark ravines come.

Across the ravine are waterfalls. While you can walk through the falls, make sure to use the ropes and chains around the ravine so you don’t slip and fall. Operate your drone cautiously to keep it dry.

Iceland drone laws to know before your trip

Before you schedule your flight to Iceland, make sure you study up on these drone laws. They’ll help you when flying around Reykjavik.

Your drone must be in the European Union’s Open category

You’ll recall that the Icelandic Transport Authority works with EASA as a European Union member. Thus, you must meet EASA’s criteria to operate a drone in the Open category.

That means your drone meets class labels 0 through 4, and you bought it before January 1st, 2023.

The drone must not ascend beyond 400 feet or 120 meters, it must not fly over people unless it weighs less than 0.55 pounds or 250 grams, and it must not weigh more than 55 pounds or 25 kilograms at takeoff.

Additionally, you cannot use your drone to drop any goods, you must keep a visual line of sight on your drone, you cannot transport dangerous materials with your drone, and you must keep your distance from crowds.

You must mark the drone with identifying information

The Icelandic Transport Authority requires drone pilots in the country to properly identify their UAVs. On your drone, mark down your phone number, full name, and address.

Do not interfere with other vehicles

Whether it’s motor vehicles, ships, other unmanned vehicles, or manned aerial vehicles, your drone flight path cannot get in the way of any of them.

Reroute your coordinates if necessary to avoid manned aircraft especially.

Keep in mind that if your drone causes damages of any kind when in Iceland, you have to pay for them. That’s a large cross to bear!

Maintain a visual line of sight

EASA requires drone pilots to keep a visual line of sight on their UAVs, as does the Icelandic Transport Authority.

VLOS allows you to watch your drone when wearing glasses or contacts (as well as your naked eyes), but visual augmentation aids like binoculars are not allowed.

Don’t fly close to public buildings

To preserve the beauty of its architecture, Icelandic drone laws forbid pilots from flying any closer than 492 feet or 150 meters from any public building in a rural environment.

The rules change if you’re in an urban environment. Then you can’t fly within 164 feet or 50 meters. That’s quite a significant difference, so know your area before you launch.

Avoid drone use near airports

The Icelandic Transport Authority prohibits drones within 1.24 miles or 2 kilometers of an international airport and 0.93 miles or 1.5 kilometers of other airports throughout the country.

Don’t fly over large groups of people

If you see a crowded environment, be it one of the tourist destinations from the last section or elsewhere in Reykjavik, you mustn’t operate your drone over the crowd.

Limit your altitude

In Iceland, a drone’s max altitude over the ground is 394 feet or 120 meters, not 400 feet like you might be accustomed to.

Insure heavier drones

If your drone exceeds 44 pounds or 20 kilograms or weighs thereabouts that much, drone laws require you to insure the UAV before you can legally fly it.

Recreationally, the Icelandic Transport Authority requires drones to weigh 55 pounds or 25 kilograms or under in a rural environment and 15.5 pounds or 7 kilograms or under in an urban environment.

As for commercial drones, the rural weight limit is the same, but a drone flying in an urban environment cannot weigh more than 6.61 pounds or 3 kilograms.

Reykjavik is a beautiful part of Iceland that permits drones.

However, you must follow the European Union’s drone rules and those established by the Icelandic Transport Authority.

Good luck and happy flying!

Can You Fly a Drone in Russia?

Russia has the distinction of being the biggest country on the planet, as it’s more than six million square miles.

You might have been contracted for a drone business project, but you’re unsure of the legalities of operating your UAV here.

Can you fly a drone in Russia?

Russia’s Federal Agency for Air Transport permits drone usage in Russia, but you must have a permit. You’re also usually required to register your drone, but that depends on how much it weighs.

This guide to flying a drone in Russia will help you prepare for your trip.

From taking your drone on the plane to Russia to drone flight rules in this country, we have lots of useful information ahead!

Bringing your drone to Russia

Before you can use your drone in Russia, you have to get it there. Whether you’re traveling to St. Petersburg or Moscow, let’s go over some advice for transporting your UAV via plane to Russia.

You’re typically restricted to only one drone per traveler.

If you’re going to Russia on business and you usually bring a fleet of commercial drones, you might consider traveling with a team where each team member has one drone.

Now is a great time to purchase a drone travel backpack if you don’t already own one. These backpacks are designed for carrying your most precious cargo – your drone – safely.

You can also stash accessories like a remote control, spare propellers (or prop guards), and extra batteries.

Speaking of batteries, you must remove them from your drone before bringing it on a plane with you. You may have to stash them separately in a firecase, so please have one handy.

Do not put the batteries in checked luggage, especially if you’re carrying lithium-ion batteries. Many airlines treat those batteries as hazardous since they have been known to catch fire.

If you don’t store your lithium-ion batteries properly, the airline can seize them. That’s not a great situation, yet it’s actually the best-case scenario.

Otherwise, the airline could turn you away from boarding the plane, or you could receive a fine for improper battery storage.

Further, the airline you’re flying through will likely have restrictions on battery voltage. We recommend researching your airline’s rules before you fly.

If you can’t find the information online, contact the airline by phone or email.

Can you fly a drone in Russia?

You’ve officially arrived in Russia. Now that you’re here, it’s time to unpack your drone and begin flying.

In Russia, the Federal Agency for Air Transport establishes the drone flight rules under the country’s government. According to FATA, drones are permitted in Russia.

Some pilots have reported that cities and towns across Russia have GPS jammers that can interrupt your signal and render your drone unable to fly.

Whether or not that’s the case, you’re still technically allowed to use your drone here.

Since you’re visiting another country where you can experience language barriers and other travel difficulties, we recommend using a drone app to map out airspace when operating your drone in Russia.

Red zones represent no-drone areas. You cannot fly in these areas. Yellow zones are warning zones.

In another country besides your own, we wouldn’t recommend pushing your luck, so stay out of those areas as well.

Russia drone rules to know

For the rest of this article, we’ll go over Russia’s many drone laws to ensure you can fly safely and legally during your trip.

Obtain a permit

Commercial and recreational pilots must have a permit before launching a drone in Russia. The only exception is if your done weighs under 250 grams and you won’t use it in a forbidden or restricted zone.

You’ll have to reach out to the country’s Air Traffic Management system and request an application. Complete all the form fields on the application and then send it in.

Besides basic information such as your full name and address, you’ll also have to divulge intel such as your drone make and model, where you plan to fly your drone, and when.

Register your drone

Most pilots operating a drone in Russia must register it. Again, this does not apply if your drone weighs 250 grams or 0.55 pounds.

You’ll register your UAV through FATA, completing a registration application form.

In the form, you must include your contact information (such as your phone number and email address), your drone’s make and model and serial number, and your insurance.

You won’t receive your registration immediately, but typically within several business days. Keep that in mind if you plan to launch a commercial project as soon as you’re settled in Russia.

You might want to get your registration taken care of ahead of time if you can.

Obtain a waiver if necessary

If you plan to use your drone at night or if the aircraft exceeds 4.4 pounds, Russian drone law requires you to have a waiver.

You must apply for the waiver before you can engage in these activities.

Do not use your drone during sporting events

In Russia, operating your drone around or over a sports stadium is illegal, especially when a sporting event occurs.

Request permission before flying in a national reserve or park

Russia has differing rules on drone use in national parks and reserves. Some parks allow drones on a restricted basis, while others prohibit drones altogether.

Contact the reserve or park authorities to confirm the rules before launching your UAV.

Avoid flying near strategic infrastructure

All critical infrastructure such as hospitals, utilities, energy facilities, communications facilities, water facilities, and more strictly prohibit drone operation over or near the facility.

You also cannot operate your drone near any sensitive infrastructure like government buildings or military bases or installations.

Do not fly over the Red Square or Moscow Kremlin

To add to the list of places you cannot use a drone in Russia, you can’t operate in the Red Square or Moscow Kremlin.

Avoid heliports and airports

Drones are restricted from flying within five nautical miles of heliports, aerodromes, and airports throughout Russia.

Should you share the skies with a manned aircraft, always give the aircraft the right of way and land as soon as you can do so safely.

Do not fly over crowds

Russian drone law requires pilots to maintain the privacy of others. To that end, you’re forbidden from operating your drone too close to crowds or individual people.

You also cannot fly near Russia’s urban areas to preserve privacy.

Keep a visual line of sight on your drone

When you launch your drone into the sky, you must track its distance. You must always be able to see your drone when you’re using it, including with visual aids like contacts or glasses.

However, using visual augmenters like binoculars to see your drone means it’s outside of your visual line of sight.

Do not fly in inclement weather or low visibility

Russia’s weather is not always clear and sunny. On those days when there’s inclement weather on the horizon, you must ground your drone operations until the weather passes.

Flying in poor weather like rain, wind, hail, fog, or snow reduces your visibility and makes your drone a hazard.

Only use your drone by day unless you have permission

You’ll recall that you must have a waiver to operate your drone at night. Without that waiver, you can only legally keep your drone in the sky in the hours between sunrise and sunset.

Are you planning to fly a drone in Russia?

Good news! The activity is legal, but you will have to obtain permitting and likely register your drone before you can take to the skies.

You’re also required to always follow FATA drone laws.

We’d highly recommend insuring your drone. Remember, multiple pilots have reported GPS jamming in Russian cities, which will render your drone inoperable.

If it crashes and burns, you want some sort of protection if you can get it!

Can You Fly a Drone in Hyde Park?

Across the pond, Hyde Park in Greater London is the biggest of the Royal Parks (there are seven others). The park is only 350 acres, but it’s dripping in history, which is why it’s such a sought-after destination.

Are you allowed to fly your drone in Hyde Park?

Hyde Park does not permit drone pilots across any of its lakes, gardens, or parklands (aka the open spaces in the park). You’re also prohibited from flying in the other Royal Parks unless you have a permit.

Ahead, we’ll clear up any lingering doubts you may have about operating a drone in Hyde Park.

Whether you’ve been here before and plan to come back, or this will be your first time, read this information before packing up your drone!

Can you fly a drone in Hyde Park?

Hyde Park is a part of the Royal Parks that lead from Kensington Palace’s entrance to Kensington Garden. The Green Park route is adjacent to the Buckingham Palace entrance.

Henry VIII created the park in 1536. At the time, Hyde Park was used as a hunting ground, but by 1637, it was open to the public and became a popular spot for parades.

As all this proximity and historical context tell you, Hyde Park is off-limits to drone pilots. Any open spaces throughout the park–including lakes, gardens, and the parkland itself–are to be avoided.

Can you fly a drone in the other Royal Parks?

Hyde Park is only one Royal Park of seven, as mentioned in the intro.

The others are the 57-acre St. James’s Park, the 2,360-acre Richmond Park, the 410-acre Regent’s Park, the 270-acre Kensington Gardens, the 180-acre Greenwich Park, the 47-acre Green Park, and the 1,100-acre Bushy Park.

Surely, you can fly in one of these parks, right? According to the Royal Parks website[1], the answer to that question is typically no.

The organization put together a policy statement about drone use called The Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems in the Royal Parks.

Here’s what the policy says about operating a drone in the Royal Parks: “Under Park Regulations (Regulation 6) no person using the park shall –

(13) in contravention of a notice exhibited by order of the Secretary of State, or after having been requested by a constable not to do so –

(b) use a kite, or model aircraft or any mechanically propelled or operated model,

The flying of a drone becomes a prohibited act once a constable has asked a person to stop flying it or if a notice is displayed in a park stating it as a prohibited act.”


The Royal Parks do sometimes make exceptions to the above rules.

These circumstances call for TPR to issue written permission to a drone pilot, usually in conjunction with a planned park news broadcast or another commercial project.

Permits aren’t granted because TPR wants drones in any of the Royal Parks, but because the alternative is to use helicopters, which are an even more substantial nuisance than drones.

You’d have to contact The Royal Parks Press Office if interested in using a drone for commercial news broadcasts.

Make sure you reach out at least 10 business days ahead of when you’d need to use a drone in one of the Royal Parks. You’d also have to complete an application.

“TPR will only give permission where it does not unreasonably impact on the comfort, safety and convenience of other park users, park wildlife and environment. Security implications will also be considered,” says the website.

Another exception besides having a commercial permit is for law enforcement. At times, the Metropolitan Police may have to use drones in or around the Royal Parks. Even still, they must have an agreement with the TPR first in most cases.

Can you fly a drone outside of Hyde Park?

It can be frustrating to learn that you can’t fly your drone in a place you planned to visit such as Hyde Park and the other Royal Parks. If you venture outside Hyde Park, can you at least launch there?

Well, you’ll remember that the Royal Parks spread as a chain, so where one is, another usually isn’t too far behind.

It’s only across the Serpentine Lake, for instance, from Hyde Park that you’ve already reached Kensington Gardens to the left of the park. To the right of the park is Green Park.

Even if you venture outside the green space, Hyde Park isn’t too far from Kensington Palace, the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, and Royal Albert Hall.

You will likely not be permitted to fly near these esteemed monuments and buildings!

What happens if you get caught flying a drone in Hyde Park?

When flying in another part of the world such as the UK, it’s easy to make mistakes. What kinds of consequences should you expect if you accidentally launched your drone in Hyde Park or another of the Royal Parks?

Well, as mentioned earlier, an official at the park will tell you to stop flying. If you leave it at that, pack up your drone, and seek another legal place to use it, then you should be okay. Oh, and be sure not to return to Hyde Park or another Royal Park with the drone.

If you repeat the offense, then the punishments might be steeper. As what happens in many parks, you could possibly face drone confiscation, fines, and even time behind bars for violating the rules.

Parks are usually known for their greenspace, picturesque bodies of water, and appealing views. Hyde Park has all those, but it also has the Old Police House, a real police house.

That’s right, police are stationed within the park, so whether you’re operating a drone or committing another illegal crime on the grounds of Hyde Park, it will not take long for it to be known and for swift action to be taken.

Don’t bother looking for loopholes here. Instead, visit Hyde Park sans drones or find another part of London to fly in.

UK drone regulations to be aware of

Indeed, drones are allowed in London, in specific areas, of course. The Civil Aviation Authority or CAA oversees drone operations in the UK, not the FAA, so you should always follow these CAA rules when flying.

No pilots under 12 are allowed to fly on their own

In the UK, all drone pilots 12 and over can fly solo, but an older adult must supervise any pilots under 12. The adult must be at least 16 years old.

The pilot and the supervisor must have successfully completed the CAA’s Flyer ID test, as that’s required to legally fly a drone in the UK.

Maintain an altitude of 400 feet

Here’s a rule that should seem very familiar to you. Just as is the case in the United States, your drone cannot surpass an altitude of 400 feet across the pond in the UK.

Commercial pilots must have insurance

Did you bring your UAV to the UK for a commercial project? You need more than just the drone but insurance for it as well. That applies to any commercial project and work you’re undertaking in the UK.

You need an Operator ID if your drone has a camera

Besides your Flyer ID, which proves your proficiency in the CAA’s drone rules, you may also need an Operator ID.

An Operator ID is identification for your drone, including a registration number that you affix as a label to the UAV.

If your drone has a camera of any kind, then an Operator ID is required.

Don’t fly closer than 150 meters to residential and industrial areas if your drone exceeds 250 grams

How much does your drone weigh? If you answered 250 grams or heavier, then you cannot fly too close to residential and industrial areas as well as built-up areas and parks. The flight limit is 150 meters or 492.1 feet.

Don’t fly closer than 50 meters to the public

Throughout the UK, you’re prohibited from operating your drone too close to crowds unless the people in the crowds have agreed to participate in your drone operation.

You’re capped at 50 meters or 164 feet.

The exception is for drones weighing under 250 grams. Then you can fly over people, and you can get closer than 50 meters even if the people aren’t participating in your drone project.

Stay at least 5 kilometers from airports

As you spot airports during your UK drone flights, make sure that you don’t stray any closer than 5 kilometers or 16.4 feet from them. Give manned aircraft the right of way.  

Maintain a visual line of sight on your drone

At all times when your drone flies gracefully through the UK skies, make sure you can see it. If you have to use binoculars to spot your drone, then it’s outside of your visual line of sight!

Hyde Park in London is one of a series of Royal Parks, all of which are off-limits to drone pilots unless you have special permission.

Since the police are stationed at Hyde Park, it’s not even worth trying to fly here illegally, as you will be caught!

1. Royal Parks (link)

AgEagle on European Drone Regulations: Challenges, Benefits and Opportunities (From the Floor of INTERGEO)
AgEagle on European Drone Regulations: Challenges, Benefits and Opportunities (From the Floor of INTERGEO)

European drone regulationsAt INTERGEO, Europe’s biggest mapping and GIS Expo held this week in Essen, Germany, AgEagle Regulatory Compliance Manager Pierre-Alain Marchand gave a presentation about the challenges, benefits, and opportunities in European drone regulations.  DRONELIFE spoke to AgEagle about the regulation framework, and developing products to match.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) released basic drone regulations last year.  The basic regulations defined the roles of EASA and member states, and outlined the basic framework for drone rules.  Europe has adopted operations-centric, risk-based regulations – outlined in the graphic below, shared with DRONELIFE.  Regulation 2019/947 defines three categories of UAS operations (open, specific and certified).  

European Union Drone Regulations

Understanding the regulations, and the responsibilities of individual member states, is important for drone manufacturers.  Get it right, and EASA aircraft certification enables business with all European member states: the first EASA certifications are being granted now.  Get it wrong, and you may end up with an aircraft that isn’t approved for the applications it was designed for.

Michael O’Sullivan, AgEagle’s Chief Commercial Officer, told DRONELIFE that the regulations help guide product development and the R&D roadmap for AgEagle’s drone solutions.  By working backwards from the regulations, O’Sullivan explains, manufacturers can tailor a solution to meet the specifications of the client’s use case – and is legal to fly in the region or country where they reside.

Matching aircraft to regulations just makes sense.  As an example, says O’Sullivan, it’s easier to get ultra light weight aircraft authorized for flight over people, because they pose less risk: AgEagle’s senseFly portfolio of eBee ultra light weight fixed wings received some of the first authorizations for flight over people.  As Europe continues to develop defined drone regulations, there are opportunities for drone manufacturers to develop products purpose-built for both application and approval.

Read more about Europe’s drone regulations:

Make Plans Now for INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS at INTERGEO in Beautiful Essen, Germany: Free Tickets for DRONELIFE Subscribers

Intergeo 2022 Essen GermanyMapping is one of the broadest and biggest applications for drone technology – and that’s why INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS has grown so rapidly as part of the giant INTERGEO conference in Europe.  This year’s conference will be held 18-20  October  2022 in Essen, Germany, and will highlight some of the hottest new technology innovations in commercial drones.

For a limited time, DRONELIFE subscribers can get a free ticket to the INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS part of the show. Enter the voucher code IG22-Life here and register now!


With INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS, INTERGEO integrates the rapidly developing subject area relating to the use of drones.

Best practices for the commercial use of drones are presented to the interested specialist audience in a separate exhibition area, a flight zone for live demonstrations outdoors and the STAGE. Integrated into INTERGEO, the world’s leading expo and conference platform for geoinformation, geodata and forward-looking applications, INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS is the ideal supplement in terms of content.

Solutions and innovations from future-oriented subject areas such as BIM, smart cities and drones are presented on integrated platforms. They are part of INTERGEO, are based on innovative technology, the latest digital developments and show how geodata are used in these key future fields.

Get your free ticket now to the INTERAERIAL SOLUTIONS expo! Enter the voucher code IG22-Life here and register now!

r/drones - May snow in CO (mini SE)
Walmart Drone Delivery Expands to Cover Millions of Households, 7 Days a Week

Walmart drone delivery expandsIt’s one of the biggest announcements about commercial drone operations in the U.S. to come out in years.  Amazon first announced a drone delivery program in 2015.  Since then, regulators, manufacturers, service providers and corporations have worked to establish delivery at scale.  The many pioneering drone delivery trials and limited operations that have taken place with retail partners have been critical in getting us to this point.

Now, the world’s largest retailer Walmart drone delivery expands to cover millions of households and offer delivery of tens of thousands of SKU’s.

Continue reading below or listen:

DRONELIFE  spoke with Tom Walker, CEO of Walmart’s partner and service provider DroneUp about Walmart drone delivery expansion.

After last year’s program launch, Walmart will expand to six states – Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia – by the end of this year.  Drone delivery hubs will be established in at least 3 cities in each of these 6 states.  7 days a week, 12 hours a day, millions of eligible households will be able to order items totalling up to 5 pounds for 30 minute drone delivery, at a fee of only $3.99. “This is a serious milestone,” says Walker.  “It’s exciting.”

Walmart drone delivery expands

Walmart’s drone delivery program was carefully engineered, and even more carefully handled to garner community approval.  The communication program has paid off.  “Delivery has been really well received in Farmington and Bentonville – now we’ll be expanding in Rogers and 31 additional locations across the country by the end of the year,” Walker says.

“We’re seeing a level of acceptance in these communities that we had not imagined: and we’ve shown that we can do this safely, transparently.  We can demonstrate to regulators and the rest of the industry that drone delivery at scale can be a reality in the near future.”

Walker says that DroneUp employees at the pilot hubs have been surprised by customers driving to a hub after receiving a delivery, just to tell pilots how cool it is.  Other people visit the hubs to ask when they’ll be able to receive drone delivery.  “We’re not getting negative feedback,” says Walker.   “The number one question we get asked is ‘when will you be able to deliver to me? Is there a sign up?’”

How Walmart Drone Delivery Works

More than 90% of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart store – as DRONELIFE has written before, one of Walmart’s major advantages in the race to consumer drone delivery.  Now, participating stores will house a DroneUp delivery hub with a team of certified pilots to manage flight operations for deliveries “within roughly a mile of the store.”  That means that deliveries are all operating within FAA guidelines.  “Once a customer places an order, the item is fulfilled from the store, packaged, loaded into the drone and delivered right to their yard or driveway using a cable that gently lowers the package,” explains Walmart’s press release.

Walker explains that all items are delivered from 80 feet in altitude or higher, for both safety and sound considerations.  Soon, they’ll be rolling out new delivery hardware with a payload of up to 10 pounds, which will further expand the SKUs available for delivery.  Right now, he says, existing hubs have seen a clear trend:  “It’s interesting to see what types of things we’re delivering,” he says.  “A lot of deliveries happen in the evening – they are last minutes items to put dinner on the table.  At one of the hubs, the most common item is Hamburger Helper.”

In addition to expanding consumer drone delivery beyond anything the U.S. has seen before- which will provide critical data and safety cases for other drone and cargo delivery operations around the world – the new announcement is creating hundreds of new drone industry jobs.

“DroneUp has grown from 12 employees in January of 2021, to 208 today – and we expect to be at 650 by end of the year,” Walker says.  The expansion isn’t limited to drone pilots: DroneUp is hiring in IT, human resources, marketing, and – critically – training.

The company is developing the DroneUp training academy, a full training program, rather than outsourcing pilot education.  “We decided to build the DroneUp Training Academy because we feel the two most important things that we need to focus on as we build out this company are our people and our culture.

That culture is safety, responsibility, and respect for each other.  We wanted to be sure that the first exposure new employees have to DroneUp is DroneUp training, with DroneUp people, that exemplifies our culture.”

DroneUp also wanted to be sure that they could remain nimble and flexible in regards to technology as they grow.  “We wanted to make sure that pilots understand how we operate first, and then how to operate the equipment second, because the equipment will change – but that culture of safety will not.”

Beyond Drone Delivery

The prevalence of Walmart stores  – and the potential presence of delivery hubs at those stores – across the U.S. is a huge benefit that can be leveraged for communities who could benefit from on-call drone services, without having to invest in the hardware or training and licensing.  A significant part of Walmart’s drone delivery hub expansion is offering additional drone services through the hubs.

“We’ll be able to deploy a drone for aerial inspection, or rapidly deploy drones for first responder or public safety support in a way that hasn’t been available before,” says Walker. “These hubs will be manned and ready to go, with the ability to get a drone in the air in a minute.”

Perhaps most importantly for the drone industry, “These hubs will have a role in demonstrating that drones are good for the communities in which they reside.”

Read more about Walmart drone delivery and DroneUp:

Edgybees Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2022 - sUAS News - The Business of Drones
ideaForge awarded the biggest Mini VTOL UAV contract beating other global competitors – sUAS News – The Business of Drones

The biggest global Mini VTOL UAV contract was awarded to ideaForge’s SWITCH UAV by the Indian Army, beating competitors from Russia, Israel, France, Ukraine, and other countries. This marks the third major order for the SWITCH UAV, as there were two previous contracts awarded to SWITCH UAV’s high-altitude variant in 2020 & 2021.

ideaForge designed the SWITCH UAV knowing that its users traditionally don’t have access to clear airspace or a runway at the last mile. ideaForge leveraged India’s diverse geography as its testing ground for 15+ years, to deploy and test in the cold & mountainous Himalayas, the long coastlines, and the hot Thar desert. The SWITCH UAV is a Vertical Take-off & Landing (VTOL) 15 lb platform that can fly for over 2 hours on a single charge. It was rigorously tested and qualified for military deployment while still being half the weight of some of its competitors.

Speaking on the deal, Ankit Mehta, ideaForge Co-founder & CEO said, “Our drones are ‘Built like a bird and tested like a tank’, an expression we coined as our systems were undergoing harsh field trials and lab testing. Looking ahead, we want to take this expertise to the United States, where similar challenges in terms of last-mile deployments and geographical diversity exist. We want to ensure all our users possess unprecedented last mile situational awareness.”

JT Von Lunen, President and founder of RMUS, a leading unmanned systems provider in the US and Canada, stated “We have been very impressed with the technology that we have seen from ideaForge over the recent years. We look forward to testing and evaluating their SWITCH UAV VTOL system for wildfire and disaster response applications, among many others.”

About ideaForge

Built on a strong foundation of interdisciplinary engineering, ideaForge is a global leader in UAV technology. Its drones offer class-leading performance, reliability, and autonomy, and have been widely adopted for defence, homeland security and enterprise applications. In India, ideaForge has the largest market share in the security, surveillance, and industrial market for drones. Its customers have conducted over 220,000 missions using its drones.

For more information, visit

Best of 2021 on Dawn of Drones This Week! End of the Year Musings from Drone Thought Leaders
Aerial Photo and Drone Video Contest! SkyPixel and DJI Call for Entries to SkyPixel’s 7th Anniversary Aerial Photo and Video Contest

drone video contest

Drying nature: SkyPixel 2017

SkyPixel and DJI Call for Entries for one of the biggest aerial photo and drone video contests around: the SkyPixel 7th Anniversary Aerial Photo & Video Contest.  Compete for prizes that total more than $97,000 USD – and the glory.  Find contest rules on SkyPixel here.

This year’s aerial photo and drone video contest will run from December 21, 2021 to February 21, 2022.

The drone video contest consists of 6 categories:

  • Nature: Go out in the wild and capture the true beauty of nature.
  • City: Document vibrant moments in the city and get immersed in energy, history, and humanity.
  • Travel: Share a weekend getaway or an unforgettable adventure around the globe (people must be included in the video).
  • FPV: Share an immersive flying experience and bring your audience even closer to the action and excitement.
  • Sport: Capture moments in movement, showing the power and energy of people engaged in sports.
  • Showreel: Shoot, edit and create a short video showcasing your very own memorable moments from 2021.

NOTE: All videos submitted must contain at least 30 seconds of aerial footage and must not exceed five minutes in length.

The aerial photo contest consists of 4 categories:

  • Portrait: Capture a person’s expression, action or life’s passion in the vast beauty of their surroundings
  • Nature: Capture a moment in time to reveal the true beauty of nature
  • Architecture: Discover amazing structures from a new perspective
  • Sport: Capture the energy and excitement of athletes.

NOTE: All photos must be shot on a drone, and each image must be at least 3 MB with a resolution of at least 300 dpi. EXIF data should be retained.

“There is no restriction on the type or brand of drones used and participants can submit as many photos or videos as they wish. Submissions will be assessed by the Judging Panel of incredible professionals in the industry, including Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Alex Mellis, Pieter de Vries, Stefan Foster, Karim Iliya, and Yunshan Yu,” says the press release.

This year, SkyPixel and DJI will give away more than 54 awards with a total value over USD 97,000. The grand prize winners in the photo and video category will each receive a DJI coupon of USD 7,500 which can be used for any DJI product. Prizes in other award categories include DJI Mavic 3, DJI Air 2S Fly More Combo, DJI RS 2 Pro Combo, DJI Action 2 Dual-Screen Combo, and other cool DJI products.

While artists can use any drone, there will be a special award for one aerial photographer and one drone video winner who used a DJI Mavic 3 to shoot their pieces.  “Winners will each get to choose any DJI product valued under USD 6,000. In addition, all submissions shot on a Mavic 3 get a chance of getting selected by the editor and winning a 15% off coupon for DJI Mavic 3 accessories.”

Awards will be announced on March 22, 2022.

Check out previous winners from 2019, 2018, and 2017!

Beginner Drone Flyer - 3 Of The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make
Beginner Drone Flyer – 3 Of The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make

3 of the biggest possible mistakes you can make
as a beginner drone flyer


Flying your drone as a beginner drone flyer for the first time can be incredibly exciting but there’s the potential for you to make a mistake that could really ruin your day. It could really ruin your time out flying. But luckily these little mistakes you could possibly make are easily avoidable and in this article, we’ll talk about 3 mistakes that you can make as a beginner drone flyer. We shall explain what they are, how they happen, how you can avoid them.

3 of the biggest possible mistakes of a beginner drone flyer

The first one not knowing the drone law. You may receive your drone as a present or just be not enough educated. But knowing the drone laws is extremely important. If you are a beginner drone flyer, you should know there are strong and specific drone laws. And they are different in different countries in the world. Some things are allowed in the USA and the same could be forbidden in the Maldives, for example. So the point here is to search and learn your local drone laws established by the responsive authorities. Does the drone pilot need to have a registration, what is the max allowed altitude, where is a restricted area? All these questions you should clear by searching the official resources. Remember that not knowing the law doesn’t mean you are free to break it. And the fees are solid in some cases. 

The second is to forget to update your software and firmware.

Updating is important for two reasons. The first is DJI is constantly bringing out updates. They’re constantly tweaking and changing things to make the flying experience better. So you want to make sure that you have the latest software on your phone in terms of the app it’s the most up-to-date version and that you have the latest firmware installed on your drone so you’re getting the benefits of their updates. The second reason is that DJI are constantly fixing bugs so what’s really common is if you don’t buy your drone direct from DJI, you buy in a local store. For example, if you buy your from a DJI’s store, the drone can be stored a couple of weeks. But if you buy it from a local store, then it may be stored for a month or even more. In any case, we recommend you always update your software and firmware so to prevent any unwanted situations. This will help you build good habits like a beginner drone flyer.

The next big mistake that a lot of beginner drone flyers make is flying out of Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS).

Legally in most countries of the World, you’re not allowed to fly out of sight. But a lot of pilots, especially beginner pilots push their boundaries a little of what they feel is okay for the line of sight. If you are in a built-up area or a mountainous countryside or you’re flying over clefts it can be very easy sometimes to lose sight of your drone by accident or on purpose. So if you’re flying off over a cliff you might think it’s totally okay. “I can’t see it anymore because it’s gone down over the other side of the clef, it’ll be totally fine”. In such a case, you really are opening yourself up to problems, especially as a beginner flyer. You could lose the video signal within 100 meters or even less if there are big objects – trees or interference and that would open you up to the scenario where you are flying your drone with the sticks but you no longer could see the drone. You can see on the screen and so in those scenarios it is really important to be able to look up and say “Okay but my drone’s there and fly it back while looking at the drone”. If you get yourself in this position it’s super important that you can see your drone. So you can fly it back and if you have your drone over the edge, of the cliff, behind the building, behind the forest – it’s going to be really hard if not impossible, for you to be able to fly that drone back in these scenarios. Just be well informed as much as you can, and you will avoid all possible mistakes as a beginner drone flyer.

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DRL Vegas Championship Held at CES – Along the Las Vegas Strip

DRL Vegas ChampionshipThe DRL Championship will be held at the one of the biggest shows in Vegas this year – the Consumer Electronics Show (CES.)

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Today, the Drone Racing League (DRL), the world’s leading professional drone racing property, announced the DRL Vegas Championship Race Presented by T-Mobile. The finale of the 2021-22 DRL Algorand World Championship Season, the race will take place on an outdoor course along the Las Vegas strip at the T-Mobile Arena during the opening night of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.

The main event during the biggest global tech conference, the DRL Vegas Championship Race Presented by T-Mobile will pit the world’s greatest drone pilots against one another on a custom-designed aerial race track, accompanied by an all-star concert. Thousands of fans will witness the twelve competing elite drone pilots go head to head over the sought-after title of DRL World Champion. The pilots will race the custom high-speed FPV drones at 90 MPH through large scale gates around the iconic T-Mobile Arena. Drones will be lit up by a thousand LED lights while traversing through neon-colored and magenta course elements, turning the race into an eye-catching visual experience on the Las Vegas Strip.

“Our Championship Race will showcase the incredible collaboration between T-Mobile and the Drone Racing League on the greatest stage for the world’s top technology leaders,” said Rachel Jacobson, President of DRL. “Our must-attend event will unveil groundbreaking technology, cutting edge sports competition and visually stunning entertainment.”

On Saturday, February 12th and Sunday, February 20, 2022, the DRL Vegas Championship Race Presented by T-Mobile will air at 1pm EST on NBC and Twitter.

DRL partners such as the leading high-performance blockchain platform Algorand, global insurance leader Allianz, award-winning, industry-leading drone solutions and systems developer Dragonfly Inc., and the U.S. Air Force will be incorporated into the championship race through unique, branded activations and course elements. The event will be open to the public, with fans able to sign up to experience the action first hand here.

Through the use of innovative technology and immersive, high-speed races through virtual and live events, DRL aims to create a new era of sports by merging esports and real-life competition.

Read more about the Drone Racing League: leadership, STEM Education, sports deals, and betting.

Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.