Spain is a beautiful country with an immense tourism industry. And it has been long one of the most challenging countries for flying recreational drones – probably for a reason. But recently, things have evolved. Spanish authorities have taken a different, more realistic standpoint towards Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). They have taken clear actions to integrate these emerging technologies into the common use of airspace. And this is how the new regulations look like.
The backbone of Spanish Drone Regulations
The current drone laws are very straightforward – for recreational use of your drone, you must strictly obey a set of rules set forth by the Spanish Aeronautical Agencies:
- Inform yourself about airspace restrictions and never fly in restricted or warning areas, as well as in controlled airspace. A helpful online mapping tool for evaluating geographical compliance is provided at https://www.icarusrpa.info/mapa.php?opt=all
- Be sure to also refrain from aerial photography or videography within specific zones where this is prohibited (also visible in the online tool)
- Never fly over urban areas and keep 150 m horizontal distance to residential buildings and 50 meters from bystanders
- Don’t fly over critical government installations like prisons, military or police, and over crowds of people
- Fly at a maximum elevation above ground of 120 meters
- Always maintain a visual line of sight (VLOS) to the drone, and never exceed 500 meters of distance to the pilot
- Flights are only allowed during daytime. For drones of less than 2 kgs, flights at night are permissible up to 50 meters of flight altitude.
- Outside of controlled airspace, stay outside of an 8 km radius around airports.
You will find more details at the website of Spain’s Aeronautical Administration (AESA) at https://www.seguridadaerea.gob.es/lang_castellano/cias_empresas/trabajos/rpas/faq/default.aspx
There is a separate, more restrictive regulation for commercial drone flights.
READ MORE: Drone Law Directory