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Tips for Drone Flying in Urban Congested Areas

Drones are able to capture angles and gather critical data in areas inaccessible to helicopters and small aircraft. Launching drones in crowded urban spaces requires more caution and professional skills and brings potential risks.

This article will share with you some tips and suggestions for flying drones in crowded areas to help you operate drones safely and legally machine.

Can I fly a drone in urban areas?

In the U.S.*, drones can be flown in cities, which are legal under the rules of 14 CFR Part 107, and operators can fly more than 400 feet as long as the drone stays within 400 feet AGL (above ground) buildings, or with an appropriate exemption or certificate of authorization (COA) issued by the FAA. However, doing so requires the remote pilot to conduct a thorough risk assessment, identify potential hazards, and establish a set of emergency procedures to ensure the safest possible outcome.

Related More: 400-Foot Height Limit: What Drone Pilots Must Know

Drone Flying in Urban Areas

What is a congested area drone?

Congested Area: This is defined in relation to a city, town or settlement: any area which is substantially used for residential, commercial, industrial or recreational purposes.

What should I do to fly a drone in an urban congested area?

Drone Flying in Congested Areas

Learn about flying your drone in ATTI mode

Generally speaking, drones have three flight modes, and you should fully understand them. But at the same time, flying a drone in a crowded urban area means that there are a large number of buildings around, which will cause GPS signal interference, compass deviation, and the drone is likely to jump to attitude mode or ATTI mode.

Flying between high-rise buildings, the influence of the wind, the GPS signal is interfered; drone pilots should have a full understanding of the attitude mode and driving skills to prevent the drone from drifting and flying.

Related More: Autel Robotics Drone Flight Mode Gears | Autel Evo Lite

Fully plan the flight path

When flying a drone in a crowded area, it is very important to plan the flight path well in advance. Make sure to choose a safe take-off point and to anticipate surrounding flight obstacles such as buildings, utility poles, crowds, etc. Draw up a detailed flight plan to ensure you know when and where to fly with minimal disruption to others.

Drone Shot Urban Night Scense

Note the visual connection

The flying environment in crowded areas is often complex and changing, so maintaining a visual connection to the drone is critical. Always keep the drone within your line of sight and make sure there is enough room to avoid collisions with other objects. Avoid flying behind obstructions such as buildings or trees to avoid losing visual contact.

Be careful flying high

When flying in crowded areas, it is very important to control the flight altitude. Try to limit the flying altitude within a safe range and avoid approaching buildings, crowds or other obstacles. Properly choosing a lower flight altitude can provide better control and reaction time, while reducing disturbance to the surrounding environment.

Respect for privacy

Always respect the privacy of others when flying a drone. Avoid taking unauthorized photographs of other people's property or private areas. If you need to carry out aerial photography activities in crowded areas, please obtain the permission of the relevant parties in advance to minimize the disturbance and anxiety to others.

Notify the relevant parties in advance

Drone Flying in Urban Congested Areas

If you plan to fly your drone in a crowded area, it is very important to give the parties involved advance notice. For example, if you are flying in a public place, please communicate with the relevant management department or security personnel to ensure that your activities will not interfere with others or violate local regulations.

Install drone crash shields

When you are unsure about drone driving in crowded urban areas, please install the drone anti-collision protection cover. The drone propeller is one of the drone accessories that are most likely to be damaged during the flight, so , the use of crash shields/propeller guards is necessary.


Flying a drone requires care and professionalism in crowded areas, but it can also provide us with a unique and wonderful perspective. But at the same time, for hobby drone pilots, flying drones in crowded areas can be very uncertain and challenging, please make sure to fly drones in crowded areas safely and legally, and enjoy its Bring fun and creativity.

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