Market Intelligence
Safety and Security Spain

Spain Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Regulation

A new regulation has been approved for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV).

UAVs or Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) have been the subject of great growth in recent years; hence, the need for legal framework to enable further security developments. For this reason, a new regulation has been approved for drone usage that opens new operational scenarios, establishes the conditions that must be met by design, manufacturing and maintenance of aircraft organizations, as well as training requirements for piloting. Spain has been one of the pioneer countries in the development of drone regulations in Europe.  It has set the standard and introduced a broader and more comprehensive regulation with the entry of Royal Decree 1036/2017 of December 15, 2018 by AESA (State Aviation Safety Agency), under the Ministry of Public Works (Ministerio de Fomento).

Following the adoption of the final drone regulations, the Spanish Ministry of Public Works presented the “Strategic Plan for the Development of Drones 2018-2021”, with the aim of stimulating the unmanned aviation industry in the years to come.  One of the uses Spain found for drones is for city traffic control. The National Traffic Department (Dirección General de Tráfico-DGT) started using eleven drones in 2019, to fine those who violate traffic and road safety regulations.  According to the DGT, “drones will be mostly intended for traffic surveillance in those places most at risk of accidents, on roads where there is increased traffic of vulnerable users (cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians), or for supervision of distractions while driving. The DGT is in the process of acquiring another twenty units that will be incorporated to the traffic surveillance and control systems.  These devices are equipped with high-definition cameras that have a view range of seven kilometers and the capacity to run for approximately 20 minutes. The field of application of these types of devices is extensive and can help to improve safety and efficiency in many areas.

Drones can have multiple applications to carry out very different activities like fly-over nuclear power plants, airport security, military facilities, interfere with communications, or are used as weapons in the civilian sphere. To prevent wrongful use, the security sector needs to oversee the usage thoroughly and safely, without putting human lives and national security at risk.  For this reason, Spain has joined the AESA RPAS Advisory Commission, which includes representatives of the security sector to include companies, pilots, schools, customers and other relevant stakeholders and society representatives. 

For additional information, please contact Commercial Specialist Angela Turrin at Angela.Turrin@trade.gov.

01/19/2021