United Arab Emirates (UAE) Landing and Overflight Permit Requirements
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is probably the easiest and least restrictive region in the Middle East in terms of business aircraft permit requirements. We hear of few issues with landing permit requests and/or revisions for this area. Still, it’s important to ensure that any information/documentation submitted with permit requests is correct and valid, as this will help avoid permit delays.
The following is an overview of what you need to know about permit requirements when operating to the UAE:
1. Landing and overflight permit requirements
Landing permits are required for all private non-revenue and charter (non-scheduled commercial) operations to the UAE. Overflight permits are never required for UAE. Fight plans, however, must be on file prior to any overflight.
2. Processing permit requests
There are five emirates in the UAE, and their respective Civil Aviation Authorities (CAAs) have slightly different permit/documentation requirements. The five UAE emirates include: the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (OMAA/OMAD), Emirate of Dubai (OMDB/OMDW), Emirate of Fujairah (OMFJ), Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah (OMRK), and Emirate of Sharjah (OMSJ). CAAs for each emirate operate 24/7 – including weekends and holidays. Note that charter operators must have their Air Operator’s Certificates (AOCs) onboard the aircraft when operating to Dubai (OMDB/OMDW), Ras Al Khaimah (OMRK), and Sharjah (OMSJ).
3. Permit documentation requirements
For Abu Dhabi and Fujairah, only an airworthiness certificate is required when requesting a landing permit. Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah require, in addition to the airworthiness certificate, the aircraft registration, radio license certificate, valid worldwide insurance, and – for charter operators – an AOC. Be mindful that when you operate to Dubai, the above documentation does not need to be sent in advance but must be onboard the aircraft. In the case of Ras Al Khaimah, required documentation is the same as for Dubai, but these documents must be submitted with your permit request. Sharjah landing permits require similar documentation to Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah, but you need to also submit an ACAS II (version 7.0) certificate. None of the UAE emirates require operators to provide local business contacts with landing permit requests. It’s always important to confirm that your worldwide insurance coverage meets minimum liability limits for passengers, cargo, and third parties. Insurance minimums are based on maximum takeoff weight in kilograms. It’s recommended to confirm minimum insurance requirements prior to operation with your 3rd-party provider or ground handler.
4. Permit confirmation procedure
Private and charter landing permit requests normally require at least four business days’ notice. CAAs may, however, accommodate shorter-notice requests. It usually takes approximately one to two days to provide the status of a permit, depending on CAA workload. Once all information is received, your request will be processed, and a permit confirmation (with confirmation number) will be issued. Permit confirmations should be entered in remarks section 18 of your ICAO flight plan. Note that UAE landing permits are valid for +72 hours.
5. All documentation must be valid and correct
Be aware that CAAs in the UAE are very particular in ensuring that all information/documentation submitted with permit requests are valid and correct. If there are issues with your submitted documentation, a permit may be delayed or denied.
6. Permit revisions
Revisions need to be sent via the same application process to the appropriate CAA. Permit revisions are necessary for schedule changes outside validity of the permit, or if you have a change in aircraft or aircraft owner.
7. Operating restrictions
Restrictions exist in terms of operating to the UAE from Israel, Somalia, and Afghanistan. Operations to/from Israel or Somalia are not possible. In addition, any Israeli nationals, or those suspected of being Israeli nationals, will be denied entry to the UAE. All passengers/crew members of any nationality should ensure they do not have Israeli entry stamps in their passports. Circular (AIC) 07/09 details restrictions in place when operating to the UAE from Afghanistan. Civil aircraft departing Afghanistan are only permitted to land at UAE airports if they’ve departed from either Kabul (OAKB) or Kandahar (OAKN) and have undergone appropriate security screening. Civil aircraft from other airports in Afghanistan, even if operating via a third country, will not be permitted to land in the UAE.
Always try to allow the official lead time of four business days when applying for UAE landing permits. While short-notice permits are possible, this is at discretion of CAA. When requesting UAE permits, always ensure that information/documentation provided is current and correct. Be sure to have all required documentation onboard the aircraft when you land, as ramp checks take place from time to time.
If you have any questions about this article or need assistance planning your next trip to the UAE, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.