New rules regulating drone usage could result in fines of up to OMR 600 for unsafe deployment of drones in the Sultanate. The rules, released by the Civil Aviation Authority, will streamline the usage of drones in Oman with fees ranging between OMR 25 and OMR 500 for permits.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Muhammad bin Salem Al Futaisi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Civil Aviation Authority, issued Decision No. 417/2020 regulating the practice of aviation activity and aerial work by means of unmanned aircraft. According to the decision, it is prohibited to bring drones or parts thereof into the Sultanate or manufacture them without approval from the authority.
"It is not permissible to practice aviation activity and air activities except after obtaining a license from the authority, with the exception of military and security authorities, internal uses in closed buildings and toys for children of the type of drones whose weight does not exceed 250 grams, provided that they do not carry imaging devices or sensors for data collection."
The authority will issue a one-year renewable license, provided that the applicant is at least 18 years old, the plane is insured and the user has a license or training to use the aircraft. PACA said: "A fine of up to 500 riyals for practicing aviation activity without obtaining a license."
The decision classifies drones into three categories based on their weight. Drones which are less than 5 kg, aircraft with mass ranging from 5 to 25 kg and aircraft weighing more than 25 kg.
"To obtain a license to use an aircraft weighing less than 5 kg, individuals must pay OMR 25 as fees,and government agencies and small commercial companies must pay OMR 100 riyals, while the fees for large commercial enterprises are OMR 300."
The fee for obtaining a license for aircraft with a mass of more than 5 kg ranges between OMR 400 to 500 for large commercial companies and between OMR 150 to 300 for small businesses and government institutions.
"In the event of non-compliance with the air rules and technical security and safety controls applied, the violator shall pay a fine of OMR 600 and a fine of OMR 300 in the event of non-compliance with the time and place specified in the license," the new decision includes.