Drone Laws In Spain: All you Need To Know (2023 Updated)
Drones are becoming more and more popular in Spain. They are being used for a variety of purposes, such as delivery, photography, and even farming. There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to use a drone in Spain.
You need to be aware of the rules and regulations surrounding drones. The Spanish government has strict rules about where drones can be flown and how they can be used.
Spain's drone laws are a little confusing. On the one hand, there are no specific regulations for drones, but on the other hand, you can't fly them near airports or other sensitive areas without permission from authorities.
In this blog post, we'll clear up some of the confusion about the drone laws In Spain and give you an idea of what you need to do to stay safe and within the law when flying your drone.
Table of Contents
- Can you legally fly a drone in Spain?
- Spain's General Drone Laws in (2023)
- Rules for Foreign Operators In Spain
- Things to Keep in Mind Before Flying Your Drone in Spain
- Drone Operational Categories in Spain
- Register As a Drone Pilot / Operator
- The Agencies That are Regulating Drones in Spain
- Beware of No Drone Zones In Spain
Can you legally fly a drone in Spain?
Yes, you can legally fly a drone in Spain. However, there are restrictions on where and how you can fly it. You must follow the rules of the local government when flying your drone in Spain.
If you don't adhere to these rules, then you could be fined or have your drone confiscated by authorities. You must also obtain permission from local authorities before flying certain types of drones in Spain. This includes drones that are equipped with an imaging system such as a camera or video recorder.
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Spain's General Drone Laws in (2023)
All drone operators in Spain must first register their devices. Once your drone is registered, you are expected to follow these rules:
- Drones are only allowed to fly up to 120 meters or 400 feet. However, the AESA may grant permission for operators of specific category drones to fly higher.
- You must always be able to see the drone, and it should never fly more than 500 meters away from you.
- To avoid any potential accidents, it is best to steer clear of flying near urban areas or places with a lot of people.
- Keep a safe distance of one kilometer around houses to avoid injury.
- A safety distance of 500 meters from isolated buildings, people, vehicles, animals, and structures is required unless the owner/person consents.
- For your safety, avoiding flying near airports and heliports is best. Stay at least eight kilometers away from airports and three kilometers from heliports.
- You cannot fly a drone at night.
- Flying is not allowed over, within, or near military installations, public utility installations, archaeological sites, or public or private facilities.
Rules for Foreign Operators In Spain
In case you are not a resident of the EU:
- If you have never flown your drone in an EU country and are coming from a non-EU country, you MUST register as an Operator.
- After you sign up, you will be given a unique Operator Registration number to put on your drone. If you have multiple drones, the same number must go on all of them.
- You are not permitted to fly in areas deemed off-limits, so-called NO FLY ZONES. Also, you must maintain a safe distance of 8km or more from airports and heliports.
- You do not need to register again if you have already registered for flights in another EU country before going to Spain. You always register in the first non-EU country where you conduct flight operations.
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Things to Keep in Mind Before Flying Your Drone in Spain
Here are some important things to keep in mind before you take off with your drone:
Registering to become an operator
If you want to fly a drone, first go to the AESA website and register. You'll need an operator number according to European regulations (which you can find in the UAS Operator Registration section). Once you have your number, make sure it's visible on your drone.
You must have minimum training depending on what category you want to fly your drone in. You can find training and testing opportunities to get a license to operate a drone in an open category on the AESA website. After you pass the free online exam, AESA will give you a certificate.
All pilots must have Liability Insurance
Contracting an insurance policy covering civil liability for damages that could occur during or because of a flight is mandatory for recreational and professional purposes. You can find more information on insurance for European drones in the drone regulations section.
Flight Codes and Regulations
The flying of drones is restricted by a set of general rules that are based on factors such as the weight of the drone if other people are present, and how close it is to buildings.
You can find instructions on how to carry out different types of drone operations in the "UAS operations/drones" section. There is also a questionnaire that will help you determine which category your intended flights fall into.
Location of your Flight
There are several reasons drones cannot be flown in certain areas, such as being too close to an airport or military zone.
Additionally, there are general rules that all drone flyers must follow. Please refer to the “Flight with UAS/drones” section for specific flight regulations in various areas throughout Spain.
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Drone Operational Categories in Spain
In Spain, drones are operable and categorized into three different categories.
Because the risk is low, neither prior authorization from a competent authority nor a declaration from the drone operator is necessary. The maximum takeoff mass for the drone must be 25kg or less, and it can only fly within 120m of its altitude and in visual range.
In recent years, people in the European Union have begun using open-category drones more and more frequently. There are many reasons for this trend, including that they're affordable, easy to use, and versatile.
Flights that fall into this category require authorization from a superior before the operation can commence. The decision to allow the flight is based on risk assessment and mitigation measures, except in certain scenarios where the operator's word is enough.
If your drone is certified and you are a licensed remote pilot, you may be able to carry people if your drone falls under the Certified category. Drones that have been designed and manufactured to meet safety standards set by the EASA are certified-category drones.
If these drones weigh more than 150kg, they can be used for commercial purposes; however, you must obtain a permit from the ESA before flying one.
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Register As a Drone Pilot / Operator
All UAS operators must register under European Regulation (EU) 2019/947, not the aircraft themselves. The operator of a UAS, more colloquially known as the remote pilot (RP), is the person who physically controls the aircraft. They are responsible for the safety of the flight at all times.
The UAS Operator monitors all aspects of the flight and provides instructions to the pilot. The individual or legal entity which operates the drone(s) on their behalf is solely responsible for its actions.
- You can start the process of registering as an operator by clicking on the AESA registration link online. You must renew this UAS operator registration number every year following the same process. Unless a number is permanently deregistered, the operator will always use the same number.
The Agencies That are Regulating Drones in Spain
As drones become increasingly popular, the need for regulation of their use becomes more important. Currently, several agencies in Spain are responsible for regulating drones.
The Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (AESA)
The Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea, or AESA, is an autonomous body of the Ministry of Public Works that ensures air safety in Spain.
It does this through different actions, such as surveillance, regulation, and investigation. The regulation of drones falls within its area of competence. In Spain, the use of drones is subject to the regulations issued by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
These regulations establish the minimum requirements that drones must meet to fly safely. In addition, AESA has published its own regulations on the use of drones, which complement the EASA regulations.
These regulations establish different categories of drones based on their weight and specify the conditions under which they can be flown. For example, certain categories of drones can only be flown in specific areas and must not exceed a certain altitude.
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is an agency of the European Union responsible for ensuring the safety of civil aviation across Europe. This includes regulating the use of drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The EASA has developed a set of rules for flying drones based on the type of drone and its intended use. For example, drones used for commercial purposes must be registered and operated according to certain guidelines.
The EASA's role in regulating drones is an important part of ensuring safety in the airspace, and it is essential for those who wish to operate these devices in the European Union.
The Agency is headquartered in Cologne, Germany, and works with national authorities, airlines, airports, and manufacturers to promote safety throughout the EU.
The Agency has worked to improve aviation safety across Europe through a variety of initiatives, including regulation of aircraft design and operation, training of pilots and air traffic controllers, and development of new technology.
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Beware of No Drone Zones In Spain
It's important to be aware of the many no-drone zones that have been established across the country. These areas have been designated as off-limits to drones for various reasons, including safety and privacy concerns.
Some of the most popular no-drone zones include national parks, military bases, and airports. Respecting these restrictions is important, as flying a drone in a no-drone zone can result in hefty fines or even jail time.
In addition, it's important to be aware of the different types of no-drone zones that exist. For instance, some areas may only be off-limits to drones during certain hours or days of the week. Others may prohibit drones altogether.
By familiarizing yourself with the different types of no-drone zones, you can help keep yourself and others safe while enjoying the many benefits that drones offer.
In order to safely and legally fly a drone in Spain, you must be familiar with the country's regulations and restrictions. This includes understanding your drone's category, registering as an operator, and being aware of no-drone zones.
By following these guidelines, you can help ensure the safety of yourself and others while enjoying the many benefits that drones have to offer. Hope this article helped and was useful to you. For any questions, comment below.