Jordan is rich in breathtaking scenery. As a result, many tourists come each year to see its gorgeous beauty, and an increasing number of visitors want to bring and fly their drones for recording aerial views of the landscapes of Wadi Rum, Petra, or the Dead Sea.
Can I Fly a Drone in Jordan?
This is a question I keep getting more and more often from people planning a visit to Jordan and, to be able to answer them, I started researching this subject. Here is what I found:
If you do a search on Google about flying drones in Jordan, the top search results will be international blogs and websites about drone laws saying that you must get your drone flying permit from the Jordan Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission (CARC) and/or the Ministry of Interior. I guess these blog posts were written by drone experts living abroad who never actually tried bringing their drones to Jordan.
Because if you visit the CARC or MOI websites, you will have a hard time finding any information on drones. There is actually a fillable PDF Drones Operations Approval Application Form on the CARC website but without any info about HOW and WHERE to submit it.
Reading frustrated comments on blogs and travel forums I got the impression that it is almost impossible to bring and fly a drone in Jordan.
However, I did see Jordanian people flying a drone on the beach in Aqaba and also the numerous drone videos on YouTube suggest there must be a way to get a drone license in Jordan.
So I decided to talk to Jordanian professionals in the local filming industry and I’m sharing with you the information I got from them below.
Is It Legal to Fly Drones in Jordan?
Yes it is, but instead of having a blanket approval for all, the government wants people apply for use of a drone and the review is done on a case by case basis.
While drones are not banned in general, given Jordan’s unique geopolitical situation, it is difficult to find a place to legally fly a drone: it is not allowed to fly a drone near airports, border areas, and military bases.
Can You Fly a Drone in Petra?
According to the sign at the entrance of Petra, unfortunately you can not fly a drone in Petra. At least, not if you are an ordinary person… But if you look at the aerial Petra videos on YouTube… maybe it is not a mission impossible.
Do You Need a Permit to Fly a Drone?
Yes, you do need a permit to fly a drone in Jordan.
In theory, you have to fill in Drones Operations Approval Application Form that you can download from the CARC website and then submit it to the Ministry of Interior.
In practice, you are more likely to succeed if you contact the Royal Film Commission – Jordan. On their website, you will find the Production Form that you have to fill out and send to the email address given.
The time frame for approval in case of Drone Filming is 30 working days.
In case you get the permit, you will still not be allowed to just go on your own and fly your drone. You will be chaperoned by a person from the Jordanian military who will supervise your filming activity.
Drone Operations Requirements
The second page of the Drones Operations Approval Application Form lists the following operations requirements:
- You must comply with the relevant regulations.
- You must submit the application at least 10 working days to the Ministry of Interior and to be coordinated with the Royal Jordanian Air Force and Civil Aviation Regulatory Commission.
- You must specify an accurate location of operation to be not more 500 meters radius.
- You must specify the time of operations.
- Height of operations shall not be more than 400 feet AGL, within the city of Amman not above 150 feet AGL.
- Duration of operations shall be limited to a maximum of 3 hours.
- Drone weight shall not exceed 25 kg.
- Drone shall be powered by electrically only.
- Drone shall be equipped with geo-fencing and electronic identification.
- Drone operator must be at least 21 years old and shall be properly trained/qulaified for the intended opeartion.
- Priority of flying shall be to a manned aircraft.
- Insurance shall be submitted.
The Costs of Flying a Drone in Jordan
I suggest contacting The Royal Film Commission for more information BEFORE submitting your application because in case you get a permit to fly your drone in Jordan you must be prepared to pay the following fees:
- The fee of bringing the drone into Jordan: 500 JOD* – nonrefundable
- Deposit to pay at the border of entry: 1000 JOD* – refundable upon leaving Jordan
- 150 JOD*/day to cover the costs of the mandatory military chaperone – nonrefundable
*Fees above may change any time at the sole discretion of the Jordanian government.
Do NOT Try to Smuggle a Drone into Jordan
If you try to smuggle a drone into Jordan and you get caught, you can kiss good-bye to your device. It will be confiscated and any footage will be deleted.
In addition you might have to pay fines and face legal consequences.
Renting a Drone in Jordan
If bringing your own drone to Jordan seems too much of a hustle, you might consider renting a drone from local drone operators like DragonFly Media Productions.
Contact them to ask about the terms and conditions of using their licensed drones.
They can also help you obtain the necessary permits from the local authorities. Please note, that you will still be accompanied by someone from the military and you will have to cover his costs.
Special thanks to Mohammed Gabaah Nawafleh of Filmproduction In Jordan for his contribution to this post. His company has cooperated in various Hollywood movies shot in Jordan.
Contact him to find ways to realize your Jordan filming project quickly and on an absolute high professional level – be it a multimillion Dollar job or just an idealistic idea with a low budget.