Drone rules in Tenerife

Drone rules in Tenerife

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.

24 Comments

  1. Doesn’t leave a lot for use in Tenerife

  2. There does not seem much point in buying one for use in Tenerife . After reading all the drone rules it would not appear that there is anywhere you could fly it.

  3. I have a drone it has an inbuilt gps, it does not allow you to fly it within a certain area of the airport

  4. well, no parks, that would have been the only reason to buy one for us, just to see from above the beauty of the nature where you are having a hike…
    I totally agree, no reason to buy one.
    Those rules just leave the Ocean out, and over there ain’t neither fun, nor interesting.

  5. Author

    There are plenty of country areas, especially in the medianías which are not ruled out by any of the restrictions.

  6. Rules seem ok for those who knows how to fly. The main issue is with those who buy cheap, non-gps drones which are almost unpredictable.
    National park ban is absurd with no explanation, do cars, motos, quads, helicopters are more dangerous?
    Few idiots with those cheap “200€” drones flying to the airports represent all drone owners? Why I should be blamed for those retards.
    Drones should be classified by tech level, not by weight. In few years we will see so many smaller and more advanced drones we wont know where to hide.

  7. Laying on beach at el medno last week, drone over us hovering, then out to sea over
    Surfers, actually commented on how far out to sea it went, at one point not visible.
    See drone again from apartment, don’t know if it’s the same one, over sea golf Del sur. Does make me feel very uncomfortable ?

  8. That’s great news, I know 100% I’m legal to carry on using my Phantom 2 for aerial photos of properties – under 2kg and I don’t fly it directly above people or other properties.

  9. I would also be very happy if they had some rules for uncontrolled dogs transforming streets and children’s parks into dirty and smelly places. There would also be no reason to buy one.

  10. Is there just one national park – El Teide, or are there more? I guess Masca is not a national park, so it is allowed to fly there?

  11. Author

    Yes, just the one national park, the Teide National Park. Masca is in the Teno rural park, so although a very special area, it’s not one defined in the rules for drones to be unable to fly.

  12. THIS site shows the permitted flying areas, anything that is not in a shaded area should be OK as long as you follow the rules above

  13. can anyone explain how the red areas apply to drones on these maps? specifically the area of “Parque Rural de Teno y Reserva Natural especial de Chinyero – Sector A/B”

  14. Can anyone explain what the different colors represent please?

  15. Author

    If you click on the colours it tells you, e.g. airport (yellow), national park (blue).

  16. We have a place in Tenerife and spend time here every year but I have recently bought a drone which I planned on using for my next trip purely just to capture some great shots for these short films I’ve been making… I’ve checked the site and the map linked above so I gather I can’t drone up whilst up Teide? (Bit of a let down but ho hey) I’m just wondering what the consensus is with beaches then? I’m thinking of some shots whilst on a jet ski or something but then that conflicts with the ‘airborne sports’ rule?

  17. Author

    Yes, as it says above, you can’t drone in the National Park, so Teide won’t be possible, but there’s nothing in the rules as I describe above that says you can’t drone above people on jet skis or on beaches generally, just not where there are airborne sports like paragliding or where people are gathered.

  18. Author

    There is nothing to stop flying drones over beaches provided there are no groups of people on them.

  19. Thanks for the important information. What kind of license is required for drones over 2kg? Is it a special license for Spain?

  20. Author

    As far as I’m aware, there’s no “international licence” so it would need to be a Spanish one. Also as far as I understand, the test for a licence involves practical, theory and medical parts, and is governed by AESA (Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea). THIS page of AESA’s site should give you all the answers, but there are companies around, I believe, who help people through the process.

  21. I was just flying my Phantom 3 in Masca and a dude in a car raced up the hill and started asking people who was flying. Luckily I had put it away but I was under the impression that I was allowed to fly it there.

    It seems Tenerife is a tough place for a drone pilot. Has anyone been caught and fined here before?

  22. I was interested to read that drones are not allowed in urban areas and not above garden zones and people. Only a short while ago whilst in my garden, in a very urban area of Valle San Lorenzo a drone appeared above. To me, a novice regarding these obtrusive articles, I was surprised at how low it seemed and how large it looked? I called to my husband and said to him that I considered it to be illegal where it was? As soon as I said this it disappeared – do they carry microphones
    enabling conversations to be heard and did the fact that I mentioned ‘illegal’ scare the operator off I wonder?

  23. some idiot was flying a drone in calle el jable in Callao Salvaje, whilst sitting in a crowded cafe!

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