Can you fly within 5 miles of an airport?

Written on 05/12/2017

Most drone pilots have come across this situation at some point. You find the perfect place to fly. You get your drone ready and just before flight, you check a no-fly zone map and realize there is an airport within five miles of your current location. According to the FAA, you cannot fly... right? Well, yes and no. If you are within five miles of an airport, you MUST first request clearance from the airport (or airports) in whose airspace you will be flying. This is a request and if they don't give you permission, you can't fly.

So now that you know the rules, how do you give notice or request clearance? Well, there are many ways to do this. One way is to send digital notice using Airmap's systems. If an airport accepts digital notice, this is your best bet as you can do it all from the convenience of the “no-fly zones” map right here on Where2fly, or on Airmap’s App. To get started, click login or create a new account (it's free). Next, tap anywhere on the map and click “fly here!” Then, just set the time, duration, and radius of your flight. Click submit and you're done! However, many airports do not accept Airmap’s digital notice system, so you will need to call the tower. This can be done by clicking on the circle around the airport and calling the phone number listed on the pop-up. Tell them where you are located, and ask if it would be appropriate to fly. Remember - always err on the side of caution. If you don't hear back or they ask you not to fly, simply move on and fly at one of the many other locations outside of the five mile airport blanket.