The use of civil aircraft piloted by remote control, drones, is regulated by the State Agency for Air Safety [AESA] under the Ministry of Development.
The new regulation for the use of UAVs / RPAS / drones was approved on December 15, 2017 and applies from December 29, 2017.
All operators of a professional drone must be accredited and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) must have an identification plate attached to their structure. The new regulatory framework does not establish the need for already authorized operators to submit new documentation or a new declaration of responsability to this Agency. It is the duty of the operators to adapt their documents and procedures to the new legal framework, having to be custodians of this for their application and possible requirement by AESA, within the framework of the regulatory control inspections that could be carried out.
What are the principal news for the professional use of drones in Spain?
With this new regulation, services are authorized under conditions that were not possible until now.
In all cases there is a series of criteria that must be met in such a way that the operation is safe. The most outstanding novelties are:
- Overflights in urban areas and over agglomeration of people will be allowed but the following requirements must be met: the maximum take-off mass of the aircraft can not exceed 10 kg, the operation must be performed within the visual range of the pilot ( VLOS), in no case will exceed 120 meters in height or 100 meters horizontally with respect to the position of the pilot, the area to be flown must be cordoned off by the competent authority, or in other case, maintain a minimum horizontal distance of 50 meters with buildings or other structures, the aircraft must have installed an impact energy limitation system (parachute, airbag ...) and must have authorization from AESA through the realization of a aeronautical safety study.
- Night flights will be allowed but will require the express authorization of AESA through the presentation of a specific security study. In addition, the aircraft must incorporate devices that guarantee visibility (lights, paint ...).
- Flights in areas of controlled airspace will be allowed for aircraft that equip an S-mode transponder (less for aircraft of less than 25kg on VLOS flights) and must have adequate communications equipment. In addition, the pilot must accredit radiophonist knowledge. In such a critical flight, AESA will have to issue an explicit approval upon presentation of a safety study.
- Flights outside the visual range of the pilot (BVLOS) with aircraft with MTOW> 2 Kg will be allowed as long as the aircraft has systems that detect and avoid other airspace users and are approved by AESA. In addition, the aircraft must have installed a vision device facing forward and must have authorization from AESA based on an aeronautical safety study.
- Flights within the increased visual range (EVLOS) will be allowed through the figure of intermediate observers as long as the direct vision of the aircraft is guaranteed at all times. In addition, intermediate observers should be in continuous communication with the pilot via radio.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS about the use of drones. Published on the WEB of the State Agency of Aerial Security [AESA].
Link to the news published by AESA on the new regulatory framework for carrying out activities with drones.
AESA INFORMATION NOTE on the main regulatory changes affecting the RPAS operators authorized prior to the entry into force of Royal Decree 1036/2017.