Drone permits now being issued by Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority

Commercial and recreational drone operator permits are now being issued by Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA).

The two-year permits, which cost $67 (SR250), are being issued following months of security clearances, reported Arab News, although 90% of applicants pass the security check, the GACA said.

The recreational permit is for personal use of non-industrial and non-commercial drones only, and requite no examination.

Unless approved by the GACA, the holder of the recreational permit are prohibited from flying their drones within eight kilometres of any piloted manned aircraft, industrial site, military base, royal palace or private property.

As for commercial permits, first-time applicants are required to pay a $133 (SR500) examination and licensing fee and take a test on protocols such as airport approach and air traffic control, among others.

Any drone flown in the kingdom must be registered, according to GACA, while those importing drones into the country must have a permit and serial number for the device.

However, a GACA spokesperson said drones will be on sale in the kingdom soon.

This month, Riyadh will host a drone summit and expo to discuss changing regulations and legislation, as well as drone technology incorporation into national security plans.

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