Increasing numbers of people are getting involved in drone flying, and the local press has being reporting a “near miss incident” at TFS Reina Sofía where one nearly collided with a passenger plane on Sunday evening. There has been no official statement on this, but it does appear that an investigation is underway. It thereore seems a reasonable time to list the main rules and regulations on flying drones in Spain, which are perhaps more restrictive than one might imagine.
- Any drone under 2kg can be flown by anyone, but any drone over that weight requires a drone pilot’s licence.
- Drones must remain in sight and may not exceed 120m altitude.
- Drones may not be flown near airports.
- Drones may not be flown in or over national parks.
- Drones may not be flown over urban areas or any areas where groups of people are gathered.
- Drones may not be flown where people are undertaking airborne sports like paragliding.
- Drones may not be flown at night.
- Drones may not be used commercially for aerial work purposes, e.g. photogrammetry, agricutural intervention, graphic reportage, pylon inspections, border vigilance, forest fire detection, etc.
The Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (AESA) says that drones are aircraft, not toys, and violations of the above rules will be treated as criminal offences, with fines of up to €225,000. Legislation in the form of a redraft of Real Decreto 552/2014, is underway: it will expand the “air navigation” regulations to include civilian use of remotely controlled and uncrewed aircraft. For current official information from AESA please see HERE.