🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all law links and known rules around recreational and commercial drone use in Spain (Barcelona & Madrid). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in our Spain Drone Forum. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.
💡 This article is also available in French
Recreational vs commercial drone use in Spain
✅ In Spain, the regulation and control of drone use falls under the State Agency of Air Security (AESA) & they can be contacted anytime via:
Online: via this form
Phone: (+34) 91 396 80 00
✅ Good to know; a new decree came on the 15/12/2017 allowing the use of drones in Spain and specifying how to obtain a commercial license. Prior to this, Spain had a ban out on any drone use (recreational or not) which is why you might find a lot of contradictory information online today (check the dates of publication).
Can I bring my drone to Spain?
✅ Currently, there aren't any restrictions on bringing drones within Spain (Barcelona or Madrid) as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.
Where can I fly my drone in Spain?
✅ Spain recently launched, ENAIRE which allows you to plan your flight's details and the software will remind you what conditions apply for your specific flight "Genius!" Note, you will need to combine this info with the below flight zone map to make sure you're flying in an authorised flight zone.
Spain drone fly map
✅ You must be aware of this map which defines 7 drone flight zones in Spain:
Zonas Prohibitas, understand no flight fly
Zonas Restringidas, understand restricted flight zone
Zonas Peligrosas, understand dangerous flight zone
Zonas Restringidas al Vuelo Fotográfico , understand no camera flight zone
Zonas Temporalmente Segregadas, understand temporary flight zone
Otras Zonas Protegidas, understand other protected flight zone
CTR, Espacio Aero Controlado y Limitado, understand controlled flight zone
🚨 Special note for drone operators looking to fly in the Balearic Islands (Ibiza, Menorca & Mallorca Islands) as we had many requests as well. All islands are safe to fly, there are no airport controls however there are limited zones on the islands - check Spain's drone flight map for more info.
🚨 If your drone has a camera, it then becomes considered as an unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV), and different fly zones will apply to it.
💡 Smart! Pack some spare drone batteries, you never know how close is the next power plug overseas. Also make sure you have a travel adaptor for Spain.
✅ National Park flights are controlled independently and you will need to find the local authority's approval for all kind of flights in these areas. Here's a map of Spain's national parks.
🚨 Special note for drone operators looking to fly over Montserrat National Park as we had many requests. The national park falls under the 'Otras Zonas Protegidas' and will need a permit for any type of flight there. Not following the law in Spanish National Parks can lead into big troubles..
Recreational Drone use in Spain
✅ You do not need a permit or license for drone recreational use in Spain. However, there are strict rules depending on your drone's weight, your flight zones and a code of conduct to follow for all operators (you need to be at least 18 years old).
Additionally, you will need to:
fly at a maximum altitude of 120 m above the ground, or above the highest obstacle located within 150 m from you & within your sight at all times.
fly away from people or large crowds & respect individuals' privacy.
give priority to all other categories of aircraft.
it is advised to subscribe to an insurance covering all risks.
fly at least 8 km away from airports (any airport, seaplane base or area where aircraft take off and land) or 15 kilometres on approved out of sight flights.
avoid sensitive areas including government or military facilities.
for approved out of sight flights, and if your drone weights less than 2 kg, you will need a detection & evasion system (distance sensors). This means the Spark, Mavic, Mavic 2 and Mavic Air are all compatible.
✅ Flights over buildings and agglomerations are tolerated if your drone weighs less than 250 gr and flies at a maximum height of 20 m.
🚨 Do not fly with drones weighting more than 10 kg, less than 100 m from the operator, in a cordoned area ensuring a minimum distance of 150 m from buildings and structures & 50 m from people not involved in the flight operation.
✅ You can operate night flights providing that your drone follows all aerial visual and lighting aerial regulations and can be clearly identifiable (a permit might be required based on your flight area).
Commercial Drone use in Spain
✅ You will need a license for drone commercial use in Spain. To obtain it, you must pass a theoretical and technical test to prove your aptitudes to fly in most conditions as any pilot would have to - see here
The purpose of the license course to provide you with the necessary knowledge to understand radio messages and communicate properly with any ATS unit in the corresponding airspace, in addition to knowing and correctly using communications in case of emergency and rescue, and the corresponding signals. It will consist of a first part of theoretical knowledge and a second part of practical training.
The minimum duration of the course will be 10 hours divided into a theoretical knowledge course of 5 hours & a practical training of another 5 hours At least 60% of the theoretical knowledge will be taught in person in the classrooms of the ATO or School of Ultralight, with the remaining 40% being able to be taught through distance learning techniques.
A final face-to-face written examination consisting of a minimum of 24 questions, distributed proportionally among all the subjects of the course will be given to the student who needs to score at least 75% of good answers to obtain the license.
💡 Smart! Heading to the coast? Water glare is a killer when flying above Malaysian coastal waters, make sure you have a lens filter before heading there.
✅ You can find the list of approved schools and training centres here. Additionally, here are the courses they are able to provide based on the size of your drone and the commercial purpose of your flights & operations.
✅ This license is valid for life & in all Spanish territories (including Canary Islands for eg.).
Once you obtain your license, you must:
respect all the drone recreational use's code of conduct (listed above).
be registered on Spain's drone operator official list.
have a Spanish liability insurance with a minimum coverage of 1 million euros.
file a notice to the local aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight.
🚨 You will need a Type Certificate & a Certificate of Airworthiness for drones greater than 25 kg
What do I risk for flying a drone illegally in Spain?
🚨 The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction &/or if you had any commercial purpose during your flight.
Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Spain's awesome landscapes and create videos like this one:
💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to our Spain Drone Forum
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone regulations.
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ENAIRE, Identify your flight's needs prior take off.
IcarusRPA, Spain's official fight drone map.
AESA contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.