Obtaining Saudi Arabian landing and overflight permits is a relatively straightforward process for business aircraft, as long as you or the 3rd-party provider assisting you with the flight has a firm understanding of the process and requirements. If you are planning a flight that will take you into or over Saudi Arabia, here what you need to know about their flight permit process:
1. Landing and overflight permits are required
Both private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations require landing and overflight permits for Saudi Arabia. Information requirements are the same for both private and charter flights. Permits are processed by General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), also known as Saudi Arabian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
2. Know what’s needed for landing permit requests
In addition to crew and passenger information, and data about the aircraft, including airspeed, you’ll also need to provide a sponsor (also known as business contact) and their contact details. Additionally, Saudi Arabian landing permit applications require the name of your ground handler.
Please also note that for domestic flights within Saudi Arabia, CAA evaluates them on a case-by-case basis. Also, for operations to a military airport, a landing permit request must first be sent to Saudi Arabian CAA. Once CAA has received the permit request, a request for a prior permission request (PPR) must be sent to the military air defense department for approval.
3. Know information needed for overflight permit requests
Except for sponsor and ground handler details, the same information needed for a landing permit must be provided for overflight requests.
4. Understand the flight permit confirmation process
After DGCA receives a permit request, they’ll review and process the information. For landing permit applications, DGAC routinely confirms all details with your local business sponsor. If the business contact is not prepared to verify the details of your visit, or the information is wrong, this will delay the permit process. DGCA will have to reconfirm the flight information with the business contact, allowing time for the operator to make the contact aware of the visit, or corrected information will need to be provided. Permit confirmation will be provided once this process has been completed. Have all required information assembled when the application is first submitted to ensure the request is accepted and processed without delay.
5. Be aware of flight permit lead times
Saudi Arabia requests three working days’ lead time for both landing and overflight permits, provided that all the information is submitted at the time of the application. When making permit requests, it’s important to remember that weekends fall on Thursday and Friday.
6. Short-notice requests may be possible
Assuming the request has no missing information, a permit may be processed within 24 hours, but that’s at Saudi Arabia CAA’s discretion.
7. Other tips when flying to Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia does not allow flights to overfly or land in its airspace when Israel is the flight’s origin or destination of. Overflying Saudi Arabia with Israeli- manufactured aircraft – even if not with Israeli crew or registration – will only be permitted on a case-by-case basis. Note, also, that Saudi Arabia has a restriction prohibiting flights to/from Iraq.
If needed, it may be possible to expedite landing and overflight permits for Saudi Arabia. Keep in mind that operators must provide business sponsor information for all landing permit requests except technical stops. To help with the process of any permit application for Saudi Arabia, particularly for regular operators to the region, it’s recommended that you keep updated information pertaining to the requirements of this permit on file with your 3rd-party provider. This helps expedite the permit process.
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Category : Best Practice
About John McClelland
With more than 18 years in business aviation, Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. Permits Manager John McClelland has acquired permits for operators traveling to almost every country in the world. A former officer in the U.S. Navy, John has managed a number of the company’s Trip Support teams since first joining Universal in 1994. He was also instrumental in helping train and launch new Universal teams, including the European Operations Center, Asia Permit Office, and ELATE teams. John, who has a bachelor’s of science degree in aerospace engineering from Texas A&M University, can be reached at
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