Drone regulations in Saudi Arabia

In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, drones are viewed as a serious risk for public security and are therefore generally prohibited. There is a community of drone pilots in the country, but you should still keep away from your remote control. There are certainly more comfortable places than the Arab prisons.

There is also the possibility for commercial users to obtain a permission for the operation of multicopters. The following purposes are given by the authorities for which the use of the drones can be approved:

  • aerial photographs
  • research and development
  • educational or rather academic use
  • surveillance of the harvest
  • inspections of bridges, electric cables and pipelines
  • maintenance of aerials
  • support of rescue missions

Approvals must be submitted for each flight at the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA). If you get an approval, you have to observe the following conditions.

Maximum flight altitude: For approved drone flights, the maximum permitted height of ascent is at 150 meters in Saudi Arabia.

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: Drone flights are only possible in sight.

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): The above- mentioned permission can only be given for drones up to a take-off weight of 25 kilograms (55 pounds).

Time of operations: Approvals are granted only for operations in daylight.

Helpful links: Life in Saudi Arabia, Expat-Blog, GACA Advisory Circular

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Saudi Arabia to the best of our knowledge. We can not guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, please contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Saudi Arabia!

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