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Don't fly a drone here: The 21 countries that banned drones from their skies.

Updated: Dec 4, 2019

🖐 In this blog post we are going to look at all the countries that forbid you to fly a drone above their territories. A number of reasons can trigger institutions and governments to ban drones and give some context on why this has been set as some reasons can be quite surprising. Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to comment your experience or any updates in The Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.


As for overview, below is the list of countries with drones banned:

  • Algeria

  • Azerbaijan

  • Antarctica*

  • Bahrain

  • Belize

  • Bhutan

  • Brunei

  • Cuba

  • Egypt

  • Iran

  • Iraq

  • Libya

  • Madagascar

  • Morocco

  • Nicaragua

  • North Korea

  • Oman

  • Sri Lanka

  • Syria

  • Tunisia

  • Uzbekistan

  • Vatican City


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Algeria


Algeria is the first of our countries' drone ban list but is not alone in this region of the world. North Africa or Maghreb is infamous for its drone hospitality with almost all its neighbouring countries having the same approach to drones.


Drone ban in place since: 27.06.1998

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Algeria drone ban explained

Azerbaijan


Azerbaijan does not technically have an official drone ban to fly over their skies, however their customs rules are clear. If you try to enter to Azerbaijan with your drone, it will be ceased, there doesn't seem to be a storage system for you to retrieve it.


Drone ban in place since: undisclosed

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Azerbaijan drone ban explained

Antarctica


Antarctica is our bonus destination of this list (not being a country), bringing effectively the total count of destinations having banned drones to 21. Whilst not being ruled by one or another country, to get to Antarctica you will have to get there via a cruise that is a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). The association voted to the unanimity that no drones will be allowed to be taken on-board their cruise ships.


Drone ban in place since: 01.12.2017

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Antarctica drone ban explained

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Bahrain


Bahrain restrict its airspace to citizens or entities having a physical address in the Kingdom. If you intend to bring a drone without registering it, it should be stored at the custom storage space until your departure. Note that there might be a storage fee per day.


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Bahrain drone ban explained

Belize


Despite its gorgeous landscapes and empty tropical beaches making ideal drone content, Belize banned drone use for foreigners. The only way you can fly a drone legally in Belize is by being commissioned by a local business in need of your aerial services.


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Belize drone ban explained

Bhutan


The tourism council of Bhutan has made the ban official early in 2019. Bhutan is very cautious of its environment and airspace and you will need a special authorisation to operate your drone in the country. Landing at Paro airport without your permit and see you ceased your drone at customs.


Drone ban in place since: 10.05.2019

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Bhutan drone ban explained


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Brunei


Brunei is one of the world's smallest nations but also one of the richest. The rules are really strict here as you could risk up to 5 years of jail and/or $50,000 in fines for flying your drone illegally. There is hope tho as one of our members reported a successful permit application in January 2018 but there are no official announcement by the country since.


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Brunei drone ban explained

Cuba


Who hasn't dreamed to fly above Cuba?! Sadly, this is strictly not allowed under the country's current regulations. There is a loophole if you're a business and apply for permits.


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Cuba drone ban explained

Egypt


Being victim of several terrorist attacks, Egypt has decided to close its airspace to recreational drone pilots. If you're craving to fly a drone in Egypt, you can hire one if you don't mind spending $500 / day. Note that this will not give a right to fly above the pyramids.


Drone ban in place since: 01.11.2012

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Egypt drone ban explained

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Iran


Despite not finding official resources formerly forbidding drone use in the country, recent media events have clearly identified Iran as a no fly zone when it comes to drones for fun.


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Iran drone ban explained


Iraq


Understandably the country which is experiencing internal and external conflicts for several years now does not need extra drones in their sky to worry about.


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Iraq drone ban explained


Libya


Part of the North African red belt, Libya formerly forbids any type of drones uses over its territory. You will find this information first if heading to the Libyan Civil Aviation website demonstrating a strong commitment to keep its skies' drone free.


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Libya drone ban explained


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Madagascar


The island of Madagascar has forbidden drones unless a permit has been issued. Unfortunately, no permit requests have been known to be successful until now (no response from local aviation authorities). Interesting fact, locals are allowed to fly in interiors only..


Drone ban in place since: 16.03.2015

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Madagascar drone ban explained

Morocco


Morocco was the first drone ban country we looked at and still is today. This said, it is one one of the best organised ones with collection depots at most airports (with storage fees) for you to collect your drone upon departure of the country. As for cultural context, in Morocco, taking a picture without consent is considered as stealing the person's soul, always ask the locals before taking a picture of them.


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Morocco drone ban explained

Nicaragua


Nicaragua is one of the few countries of the entire Americas to be hostile to drone technology. Without a proper regulation in place, local authorities preferred to ban drones until further notice.


Drone ban in place since: 2014

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Nicaragua drone ban explained


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North Korea


We will let you take a guess for this one...


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: end of the dictatorship


North Korea drone ban explained

Oman


Oman is actually quite tolerant regarding professional drone use in its territoriality. However, recreational or hobby drone use is strictly forbidden as drones are simply not considered as toys in Oman.


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Oman drone ban explained

Sri Lanka


This is the latest addition to this list as Sri Lanka used to allow drones just 5 months ago. Unfortunately, the Easter terrorist attacks of April 2019 have conducted Sri Lankan civil aviation to ban drones for the time being.


Drone ban in place since: 25.04.2019

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Sri Lanka drone ban explained

Syria


Syria has been the scene of several air raid atrocities, drones are not welcomed in Syria and more understandable, citizens are scared of them.


Drone ban in place since: 25.04.2019

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Syria drone ban explained

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Tunisia


Tunisia's culture is not favourable to drone technology. Alike Morocco, taking someone's picture without consent can be considered as stealing. There is hope for it to become the first North African country to welcome drones as it has a permit process in place, we just need them to answer..


Drone ban in place since: 06.05.1995

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Tunisia drone ban explained

Uzbekistan


Uzbekistan does not technically have an official drone ban to fly over their skies, however their customs rules are clear. If you try to enter to Uzbekistan with your drone, it will be ceased and destroyed in front of you should you decide to enter the country.


Drone ban in place since: undisclosed

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Uzbekistan drone ban explained

Vatican City


Final member of our drone ban country list.. the Vatican. If you wanted to see the pope from a new angle, think again. The Vatican has suffered many drone intrusions over time and asked the city of Rome to intervene. If you're caught flying a drone above the Vatican (or Rome) without a permit, you could be expelled from Italy.


Drone ban in place since: unknown

Drone ban effective until: undisclosed


Vatican drone ban explained


We hope you found this information useful and that it will allow you to prepare your trip more safely. Note that this post only refers countries with total bans, many countries allowing drone uses will have restricted airspace and forbidden drone zones. If you're travelling to another destination, always check our 170 drone laws world map before heading overseas!

✅ Please leave a comment or update the Forum when you receive news and/or gain experience with your drone in a country so we can update information for others in turn.

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Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations.


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