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Can You Fly a Drone in Jerusalem?

7 mins
Drone Blog
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The Western Asian city of Jerusalem has strong religious connotations. It’s also one of the oldest cities on the planet.

If planning a voyage to Jerusalem, you might wonder whether you can legally use a drone in this part of Israel.

Can you fly a drone in Jerusalem?

You can fly a drone in Jerusalem if you abide by Israeli Civil Aviation Authority guidelines. You must have a Ministry of Communications permit and a CAAI permit, and you’ll have to stay out of no-fly zones.

In today’s article, we’ll clarify all the rules about using a drone in Jerusalem so you can plan a fruitful trip here. Make sure you keep reading!

Can you fly a drone in Jerusalem? #

The Civil Aviation Authority makes the rules about drone flights in Israel. According to the CAAI, you can operate a drone in Jerusalem.

You must stay current on all CAAI rules and follow them when flying. As a foreigner, you’re also required to have advanced flight permissions.

For example, you need more than a CAAI-issued permit to use your drone in Jerusalem. You also must reach out to the Ministry of Communications and receive a permit through them.

You need a completed declaration form through the CAAI in which you promise to only use your drone for recreational and not commercial purposes.

You must have registered your drone before you come to Israel, as the CAAI, Israel Tax Authority, and the Ministry of Communications require the registration. You’ll hand off your registration form at the airport.

To register your drone, go through the ICD. You’ll have to pay 350 to 500 Israeli New Shekels to register. The USD equivalent is $86.50 to $144.17.

You’ll have to fill out information on the registration form like:

  • Your first and last name
  • Email address
  • Passport number
  • Phone number
  • Arrival and departure dates
  • Home address
  • Drone serial number
  • Drone model

Plan to fill out your application in advance, as you will have to wait several days to receive the registration.

Understanding Jerusalem drone maps #

When flying a drone in any new place, you’ll rely on drone maps likely more than ever to make sense of your surroundings.

In Israel, restricted locations are still no-fly zones, but the drone map coloration might differ from what you’re used to.

That’s why we thought we’d take this section to provide context to what you see on your drone map.

Orange zones #

A zone that’s colored only orange (and not orange and yellow) stands for areas the Publication of Intrastate Aviation or PMA has closed.

Yellow and orange zones #

You might spot some areas on your drone map that are yellow, orange, and then yellow again.

This isn’t some coloration glitch but it does denote a closure. You might only see the two hues arranged in that specific configuration with a DJI drone app.

Blue zones #

A blue zone signifies a Jerusalem airstrip or airport where you’re forbidden from flying. You’ll usually see a blue circular airplane icon to further reduce confusion about what constitutes these no-fly zones.

Purple zones #

The lands colored purple on your drone map are regulated by the Nature and Parks Authority. Plan to avoiding flying in these restricted areas.

The Nature and Parks Authority can introduce three levels of flight prohibitions:

  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3

Green zones #

A green zone may also be under the jurisdiction of the Nature and Parks Authority, so once again, plan an alternate route.

Red zone #

Lastly, any red zones represent security facilities and border flights, so you’re prohibited from using your drone in these zones.

A good drone app should break down the zones and icons you might see on a drone map of Jerusalem so there’s no confusion. If you own a DJI drone, the UAV will not fly in restricted airspace.

You’ll receive a notice when entering a warning zone when operating a DJI drone. Other drone models will also do this.

Jerusalem drone laws to know #

Now that you’ve gotten all that info straight, we want to spend the rest of this article introducing the CAAI’s drone usage rules for Jerusalem and greater Israel.

All the other rules to this point still apply, so make sure you’re registered, have the right permits, and stay out of no-fly zones!

Limit your distance to buildings and people #

To preserve the ancient architecture that fills Jerusalem and protect its people, you cannot fly a drone any closer than 250 meters or 820 feet from buildings and people.

It’s unclear if you can fly closer to people if you have their permission, so take heed. This rule about flying over people also applies to stadiums. 

No flying in national parks and nature reserves during certain periods #

Did you know that roughly 500 million birds pass through Israel two times each year to migrate?

To preserve those birds and give them the airspace to fly, Israel has prohibited drone pilots from entering national parks and nature preserves.

This rule doesn’t extend for the full year, only when the birds will migrate.

If you can use your drone in a national park or a nature preserve, the UAV shouldn’t contain multiple blades, as the country has concerns about drones injuring wildlife.

Don’t fly close to airports #

Israel prohibits drone pilots from chartering a course too close to manned aircraft.

If your plans to fly in Jerusalem include navigating within 2 kilometers or 1.2 miles of an airfield or airport, change those plans.

Flying that close to airports and airfields is illegal.

Watch your drone frequency #

Israel had banned drones with a 5.8-gigahertz frequency from entering the country, although that no longer appears to hold true as of this writing.

However, this new rule hasn’t been fully enforced, so it’s best if your drone operates at a lower frequency for now.

This can prevent the confiscation of the UAV at the airport or when using the drone in the Jerusalem skies.

If you must bring a drone into Israel with a 5.8 GHz frequency, you’ll need yet another permit besides the ones we’ve discussed.

» MORE: Can You Bring a Drone to Vietnam?

Stay 50 meters over the ground #

In Israel, don’t ascend your drone above ground level by 50 meters or 164 feet. If you’re used to the 400-foot rule that holds applies in much of the world, prepare to lower your drone altitude.

Do not enter secure areas with your drone #

You must have the proper clearances when entering any secure zone, including security facilities.

If you don’t, keep your drone away from these areas, which should appear as restricted on your drone map.

Keep your drone in your sight #

You must have control of your drone when piloting it, which means maintaining a visual line of sight on the UAV when it’s in the sky.

Avoid border areas, police stations, fire areas, military bases, and power stations/plants #

Besides the no-fly zones, there’s a laundry list of off-limits places to avoid when flying your drone in Jerusalem.

The list includes border areas, fire areas, power stations, police stations, military bases, power plants, and refineries.

Keep your drone permit current #

The permits you received from the CAAI and the Ministry of Communications to use your drone in Jerusalem don’t last forever.

If you’re staying longer than three months, plan to renew your permits at that point.

If you don’t and you fly your drone anyway, you’re doing so illegally and risk getting your UAV confiscated.

Conclusion   #

Jerusalem permits drone pilots, but you must follow CAAI guidelines. You’ll need to obtain registration before you fly to Israel and have a permit from the CAAI and the Ministry of Communications.

These permits only grant you recreational flight clearance. You’d need additional permissions to use your drone commercially.

To stay out of no-fly zones, download a drone mapping app and track your flight route from day to day. Happy flying!


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