143 Iraq

Three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black. The Takbir (Arabic expression meaning “God is great”) in green Arabic script is centered in the white band. The band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag: black represents oppression, red represents overcoming through bloody struggle, and white means to be replaced by a bright future. The Council of Representatives approved this flag in 2008 as a compromise replacement for the Ba’thist SADDAM-era flag.

Flag courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Map courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Google Earth


The Great Ziggurat of Ur stands after 4,000 years. Construction on the ziggurat was completed in the 21st century B.C. in the ancient Sumerian city of Ur near present-day Nasiriyah on the Euphrates River, about 370 km (225 mi) southeast of Baghdad. The ziggurat was part of a temple complex that served as an administrative center for the city, and that was also a shrine of the moon god Nanna, the patron deity of Ur. The site was extensively excavated between 1922 to 1934. Part of the facade of the lower stage and the ceremonial stairway were reconstructed by the regime of Saddam Hussein. The Great Ziggurat at Ur viewed from a Black Hawk helicopter.

Photos courtesy of the CIA World Factbook

Iraq is a member of ICAO.
Last updated on April 19, 2024


According to Britannica, from 1968 to 2003 Iraq was ruled by the Baʿath (Arabic: “Renaissance”) Party. Under a provisional constitution adopted by the party in 1970, Iraq was confirmed as a republic, with legislative power theoretically vested in an elected legislature but also in the party-run Revolutionary Command Council (RCC), without whose approval no law could be promulgated. Executive power rested with the president, who also served as the chairman of the RCC, supervised the cabinet ministers, and ostensibly reported to the RCC. Judicial power was also, in theory, vested in an independent judiciary. The political system, however, operated with little reference to constitutional provisions, and from 1979 to 2003 Pres. Saddam Hussein wielded virtually unlimited power.

Following the overthrow of the Baʿath government in 2003, the United States and its coalition allies established the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), headed by a senior American diplomat. In July the CPA appointed the 25-member Iraqi Governing Council (IGC), which assumed limited governing functions. The IGC approved an interim constitution in March 2004, and a permanent constitution was approved by a national plebiscite in October 2005. This document established Iraq as a federal state in which limited authority—over matters such as defense, foreign affairs, and customs regulations—was vested in the national government. A variety of issues (e.g., general planning, education, and health care) are shared competencies, and other issues are treated at the discretion of the district and regional constituencies.

The constitution is in many ways the framework for a fairly typical parliamentary democracy. The president is the head of state, the prime minister is the head of government, and the constitution provides for two deliberative bodies, the Council of Representatives (Majlis al-Nawwāb) and the Council of Union (Majlis al-Ittiḥād). The judiciary is free and independent of the executive and the legislature.

The president, who is nominated by the Council of Representatives and who is limited to two four-year terms, holds what is largely a ceremonial position. The head of state presides over state ceremonies, receives ambassadors, endorses treaties and laws, and awards medals and honors. The president also calls upon the leading party in legislative elections to form a government (the executive), which consists of the prime minister and the cabinet and which, in turn, must seek the approval of the Council of Representatives to assume power. The executive is responsible for setting policy and for the day-to-day running of the government. The executive also may propose legislation to the Council of Representatives.

The Council of Representatives does not have a set number of seats but is based on a formula of one representative for every 100,000 citizens. Ministers serve four-year terms and sit in session for eight months per year. The council’s functions include enacting federal laws, monitoring the performance of the prime minister and the president, ratifying foreign treaties, and approving appointments; in addition, it has the authority to declare war.

The constitution is very brief on the issue of the Council of Union, the structure, duties, and powers of which apparently will be left to later legislation. The constitution only notes that this body will include representatives of the regions and governorates, suggesting that it will likely take the form of an upper house.

Iraq is divided for administrative purposes into 18 muḥāfaẓāt (governorates), 3 of which constitute the autonomous Kurdistan Region. Each governorate has a governor, or muḥāfiẓ, appointed by the president. The governorates are divided into 91 aqḍiyyah (districts), headed by district officers, and each district is divided into nāḥiyāt (tracts), headed by directors. Altogether, there are 141 tracts in Iraq. Towns and cities have their own municipal councils, each of which is directed by a mayor. Baghdad has special status and its own governor. The Kurdish Autonomous Region was formed by government decree in 1974, but in reality it attained autonomy only with the help of coalition forces following the Persian Gulf War. It is governed by an elected 50-member legislative council. The Kurdistan Region was ratified under the 2005 constitution, which also authorizes the establishment of future regions in other parts of Iraq as part of a federal state.

Judicial affairs in Iraq are administered by the Supreme Judicial Council, which nominates the justices of the Supreme Court, the national prosecutor, and other high judicial officials for approval by the Council of Representatives. Members of the Supreme Court are required to be experts in civil law and Muslim canon law and are appointed by two-thirds majority of the legislature. In addition to interpreting the constitution and adjudicating legal issues at the national level, the Supreme Court also settles disputes over legal issues between national government and lower jurisdictions. During the Baʿath era the judiciary was generally bypassed, and the regime instituted a wide variety of exceptional courts whose authority circumvented the constitution. The establishment of such courts is clearly proscribed under the 2005 constitution. All additional courts are to be established by due process of law.

Civil / National Aviation Authority (CAA/NAA)

The Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) is the agency responsible for Iraq’s obligations under the provisions of Annex 9 (Facilitation) of the Chicago Convention. The ICAA is responsible for coordinating with other Iraq agencies for the development and implementation of policy and coordination of ICAO matters.


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ICAO countries publish an Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP). This document is divided into three parts: General (GEN), En Route (ENR) and Aerodromes (AD). ENR 1.4 details the types of airspace classes they chose to adopt from classes A through G. Iraqi AIP

Iraqi Airspace

Iraqi Airspace

Drone Regulations

ICAR 19 – Aerial Work


1. Applicability

(1) This regulation contains the requirements for those operators and operations that are considered to be aerial work in the Iraq.

(2) All persons who conduct aerial work in the Iraq shall comply with certification requirements of this regulation.

(3) All persons who conduct aerial work in the Iraq shall comply with the applicable airworthiness and operational requirements of this regulation, except where a relief is granted from those requirements or specified additional requirements.

(4) All persons who conduct aerial work in the Iraq in a remotely piloted aircraft shall comply with the requirements for remotely piloted aircraft in ICAR 20 and the applicable requirements of this Chapter except where this Chapter is be less prescriptive than ICAR 20.

ICAR 20 – Operations

137. Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA)

RPA means Remotely PilotedAircraft;

RPAS means Remotely Piloted Aircraft System;

137. RemotelyPilotedAircraft(RPA)

(1) A person shall not operate a RPA in a manner that would cause a hazard to persons, property or other aircraft.

(2) A person operating a RPA shall comply with the general operating rules as listed below-

(a) a person operating an RPA, registered in Iraq or holding an operator certificate from Iraq, and its RPAS shall not –

(i) operate in Iraq without appropriate authorization from the Authority,

(ii) engage in international air navigation without appropriate authorization from the State from which the take-off of the RPA is made, or

(iii) operate across the territory of another State, without special authorization issued by each State in which the flight is to operate, which shall be obtained prior to takeoff if there is reasonable expectation, when planning the operations, that the aircraft may enter the airspace concerned,

(iv) shall not operate over the high seas without prior coordination with the appropriate ATS Authority, which shall be obtained prior to take-off if there is reasonable expectation, when planning the operations, that the aircraft may enter the airspace concerned,

(v) shall operate in accordance with conditions specified by the State of Registry, and the State of the Operator if different, and the State(s) in which the flight is to operate,

(vi) shall ensure that the RPAS meets the performance and equipment carriage requirements for the specific airspace in which the flight is to operate;

(b) once authorization has been received by the Authority, the operator”-

(i) shall file a flight plan prior to operation of a RPA,

(ii) shall notify the Authority and ATC immediately in the event of a flight cancellation, and

(iii) shall, in the case of changes to the proposed flight, submit such changes to the Authority for consideration.

(3) A person shall not operate an RPA, registered in Iraq or holding an operator certificate from Iraq unless the RPA, RPAS and the remote pilot has obtained the proper approvals of the Authority, as listed below-

(a) an RPAS shall be approved, taking into account the interdependencies of the components, in accordance with ICAR 5, including-

(i) a certificate of airworthiness for the RPA, and

(ii) the associated RPAS components specified in the type design certificate and maintained in accordance with national regulations;

(b) an operator shall have an RPAS operator certificate issued in accordance with national regulations; and

(c) remote pilots shall be licensed or have their licenses rendered valid in accordance with ICAR 8.

(4) In relation to request for authorization-

(a) the request for authorization referred to in paragraph (b) above shall be made by providing the required information in the application form contained in Schedule 8.6; and

(b) a request for authorization to operate an RPA in Iraq shall be made by following the requirements in ICAR 10 and providing the required information in the application form contained in the Schedules of ICAR 10.

8.6 Remotely Piloted Aircraft(RPA) An Iraqi Operator’s application form to operate RPA within Iraq shall be as laid down by the Authority.

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)


Short Essay Questions

Question 1

You have been hired by a Drone Startup Company. Your boss has immediately assigned this job to you.

They need you to prepare a one-page memo detailing the legalities of using a drone to film the Great Ziggurat of Ur, pictured above.

They need you to mention any national laws and local ordinances.

They specifically want to know what airspace you will be operating in and whether or not you need an airspace authorization.

Does it matter whether or not you are a citizen of the country?

Lastly, there is a bonus for you if, as you scroll through this chapter, you find any typos or broken links!

Question 2

Do you need a certificate to fly UAS?

If so, how do you obtain one?

Are there fees associated with this?

If so, how much?

Question 3

May you operate beyond visual line of sight?

If so, what procedures must you follow?

Question 4

Does the country have UAM/AAM laws? If so, describe, citing the exact law.

Question 5

Are you aware of any new laws or policies not mentioned above? If so, describe, citing the exact law or policy.





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