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Spain Drone Technologies Budget Forecast

Spain is a global leader in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle technology (UAVs) or Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). Remote piloting of such aircraft has many uses in Spain including agriculture, energy, ecommerce, mobility, entertainment, and security (including homeland security for aerial and underwater surveillance).  The Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation has launched the Aeronautical Technological Program (PTA) of the Center for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) with a budget of over 190 million dollars to be distributed initially between 2021 and 2023. In Spain, there are more than 1,500 development projects related to drone technology.  The main international players are the United States and China.

Additionally, over 428 million dollars are being committed to the development of a new web app, called ENAIRE Drones  to ensure drones fly safely in-country. ENAIRE is the leading air navigation and aeronautical information service provider in Spain under the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda. This is a commitment to technological innovation, digital transformation, and service improvement for users in accordance with ENAIRE’s strategic plan “2020 Flight plan” and the Ministry of Public Works’ Drones National Plan.  ENAIRE is currently preparing its new Strategic Plan: Flight Plan 2025.

While European Union regulations can barely keep up with all the recent technological changes, the regulatory framework for drone services including parcel delivery, delivery of essential supplies and railway and power lines inspection was recently published in December 2020 by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as authorized, but regulated, to use.  Under this framework, unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations in the urban environment were categorized as medium risk in this specific category and all operators are required to register subject to the same conditions across all of Europe. Full integration of drones usage is expected by 2030 across the EU.

Airbus “Eurodrone” is the first unmanned aerial system designed for flight in non-segregated airspace.  It is a four-nation project between Germany, France, Spain and Italy. The European multinational Organization for Joint Armament Co-operation, or OCCAR, manages the program. Aircraft fuselage will be fully integrated and assembled in Spain. “Eurodrone” makers are considering U.S. technology for crucial collision-avoidance feature.

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