A Flying Guide to Drone Laws in Spain: How to Stay Legal and Safe

Drones have become popular in countries around the world, including Spain. However, drone operators must follow the country’s rules and regulations to ensure the safety of people and property. This article outlines the drone laws and regulations in Spain, what you need to know before flying your drone, and upcoming changes to the laws.

If you’d like to contact AESA directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: [email protected] / +34 91 396 80 00

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Drone Laws in Spain
Drone Laws in Spain

What are the drone laws in Spain?

General Rules for Flying Drones in Spain

Since Spain is a member of the European Union, it must comply with the drone regulations established by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency  (EASA). Furthermore, Spain has its own set of regulations that are unique to the country. 

In Spain, drones are classified as unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and are regulated by the Spanish State Agency for Air Safety (AESA). UAS operators must comply with the general rules for flying drones, which include flying up to a maximum height of 120 meters and within a visual line of sight. Drones must also not weigh more than 25 kilograms.

Operational categories for different types of drones

Operational categories have been established for different types of drones based on their size and capabilities. Category A is for drones that weigh less than 250 grams and can be flown without a license. Category B is for drones that weigh more than 250 grams but less than two kilograms and can be flown by a certified pilot. Category C is for drones that weigh more than two kilograms and can only be flown by a certified pilot in specific areas.

A drone can be operated in the “Open “category if:

  • The drone bears one of the classification labels from 0 to 4.
  • If purchased before January 1, 2023, it will not possess a label as aforementioned.
  • Its maximum weight when taking off does not exceed 25 kilograms or 55 pounds.
  • The remote pilot ensures to maintain a safe distance from people while operating the drone.
  • Unless it carries a class classification label or weighs less than 250 grams or 0.55 pounds, the drone must not be flown directly over individuals. Refer to subcategories A1, A2, and A3 for flight approvals.
  • The remote pilot must maintain a visual line of sight or receive support from a UA observer. 
  • The drone should not be operated above the altitude of 120 meters or 400 feet. 
  • It is prohibited to transport hazardous materials or drop any object while flying the drone. 

Drone regulations for commercial use

If you plan to use your drone for commercial purposes in Spain, you must have a license and be registered as a drone operator. Commercial drone operators must also have liability insurance and must comply with all drone regulations.

Do I need to register my UAC to fly in Spain?

Registering as a drone pilot or operator

If you want to fly a drone in Spain, you must register as a drone operator with the AESA and hold a remote pilot license. If you are a non-Spanish resident and plan to fly a drone in Spain for commercial purposes, you must also obtain approval from the AESA. If you are a European resident and your drone is already registered in one of the countries in Europe which participate in EASA then you don’t need to register again.

Rules for registering your drone in Spain

If your drone weighs more than 250 grams, you must register it with AESA. You must include your drone’s model, make, and serial number when registering. In addition to these details, the operator’s identification, and the drone’s remote pilot’s license numbers are also required.

Need to register your drone for recreational use

Recreational drone flights don’t require registering your drone if it weighs less than 250 grams, which is category A. However, drones that weigh more than 250 grams and are used for recreational purposes (category B), must still be registered with AESA.

Do I need Pilot Training?

AESA has developed a new e4F system which is specifically designed for cross-border and 3rd country us operators well one thing is not sure whether you can get the pilot training in the English language or not. If you have already completed your pilot training and some of the other European countries which is a part of EASA then you don’t need to appear for the pilot training here in Spain

Can I fly my drone anywhere in Spain?

Drone zones and areas where flying is prohibited

Drone operators in Spain must not fly their drones in areas where they could put people or property at risk, such as city or urban areas, or near military installations, airports, or heliports. It is also prohibited to fly over natural parks and reserves, beaches, or national monuments without prior authorization.

Flying your drone within the visual line of sight

It is essential to fly your drone within a visual line of sight, which means you must see the drone at all times. If you lose sight of the drone, you must immediately land it before it poses a threat to property or people.

Rules for flying in controlled airspace

Spain has specific rules for flying drones in controlled airspace, such as airports and military bases. Drone operators need to obtain special permits for their flights in these areas.

What do I need to know before flying my drone in Spain?

Guidelines for flying drones in Spain

Before flying your drone in Spain, it is essential to read and understand the guidelines for drone flights. These guidelines provide information on how to operate a drone safely.

Rules for flying drones near people and property

Drone operators must also ensure that they do not put people or property at risk when flying their drones. They should also respect the privacy and tranquility of people in the area where they are flying the drone.

Requirements for Becoming a certified drone pilot in Spain

To become a certified drone pilot, you must take and pass a theoretical and practical course authorized by the AESA. Certified drone pilots must also have liability insurance, be at least 18 years old, and hold a remote pilot’s license.

Is there any upcoming change in the drone laws of Spain?

Drone laws and regulations to be imposed in 2023

Starting in January 2023, new drone laws and regulations will be in effect in Spain. Under these regulations, drones will be classified by a European Technical Standard Order (ETSO) and will need to have a CE certification mark.

How the new laws may affect drone pilots and operators in Spain

Drone operators and pilots in Spain will need to comply with the new regulations starting in 2023, which may impact their current operations. To prepare for the upcoming changes, it is essential to keep updated on the latest drone laws and regulations.

Flying to Spain with your drone: important regulations to follow

If you are flying to Spain with your drone, it is important to follow the regulations established for importing a drone. These regulations include registering the drone with AESA and obtaining approval from the agency before use. It is also essential to check with your airline about the regulations for carrying drone batteries on flights. In conclusion, flying a drone in Spain requires compliance with the country’s rules and regulations. Drone operators must also prioritize the safety of people and property above all else. Being knowledgeable of the laws and regulations before flying a drone in Spain can ensure a safe and successful flight.

For more information on Spain’s drone laws, see this page on the AESA website. Another helpful resource to consult is ENAIRE, the leading air traffic control provider in Spain. They offer drone pilots and operators tools to consult the NOTAM and the ENAIRE drone map to help plan recreational or professional drone flights.

Do you possess knowledge about drone regulations in Spain that we might be unaware of? If so, please send us an email at hello[at]chasingwhereabouts[dot]com. We strive to keep this page current for drone pilots, but we are not international air law experts. Since the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and governmental reactions are rapidly advancing, drone regulations in Spain may alter frequently throughout the year, and keeping up with these changes can be difficult. Please inform us if we overlooked anything.

What are the general rules for flying a drone in Spain?

If you want to fly your drone in Spain, there are a few important rules to know. First, you must fly within a visual line of sight and always maintain a safe and respectful distance from other people and objects. Second, you are only allowed to fly up to 120 meters (393 feet) above ground level. Finally, you must always follow the drone regulations in Spain, which apply to both recreational and commercial drone users.

Do I need to register my drone to fly it in Spain?

Yes, if your drone weighs more than 250 grams (0.55 pounds), you need to register it with the Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency (AESA) before you can fly it in the country. This applies to both recreational and commercial drone pilots.

What are the operational categories for drones in Spain?

There are three operational categories for drones in Spain: Open, Specific, and Certified. The Open category includes drones that weigh less than 25 kilograms (55 pounds) and are operated in accordance with the general rules of drone operation. The Specific category includes drones that are used for specific purposes, such as aerial work, and require prior authorization from AESA. The Certified category includes drones that are used in professional or commercial environments and comply with strict safety and quality requirements.

What are the rules for flying a drone in Spain commercially?

Commercial drone operators in Spain are required to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate and comply with specific regulations regarding drone operations. These regulations include obtaining the necessary authorizations from AESA, complying with safety and quality requirements, and respecting the privacy and security of individuals and properties.

How can I register as a drone pilot in Spain?

To register as a drone pilot in Spain, you need to obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from AESA. This certificate requires passing a theoretical and practical exam, demonstrating knowledge of the regulations and operations of drone flying, and being at least 18 years old.

Are there designated drone zones in Spain?

No, there are no designated drone zones in Spain. However, there are specific areas where drone operations are prohibited, such as near airports, military facilities, and national parks. It is important to research these areas before planning to fly your drone in Spain.

What is the timeline for drone regulations in Spain?

As of 2021, the regulations for drone operations in Spain are already in effect. However, some changes are expected to be implemented by 2023, including stricter rules for drone registration, operations, and equipment, as well as the introduction of new technologies and standards.

Are recreational drones allowed in Spain?

Yes, recreational drones are allowed in Spain as long as they comply with the general rules of drone operation and are registered with AESA if they weigh more than 250 grams (0.55 pounds). However, drones must not be flown in prohibited areas or pose a risk to individuals or property.

Do I need to register my drone if I’m flying it in an open category?

Yes, if your drone is classified as an open-category drone, you still need to register it with AESA if it weighs more than 250 grams (0.55 pounds). You also need to comply with the general rules of drone operation.

Can I fly my drone in Spain if it is registered in an EU country?

Yes, you can fly your drone in Spain if it is registered in an EU country and complies with the regulations of that country. However, it is important to research the specific rules and requirements of the country before going to Spain.

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