Spanish Air Safety Agency (AESA) has suspended “All UAV Operations in Spanish Airspace

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With thanks to Patrick of GrupoAcre in Spain for sending this to us.

Yesterday we came to know (by news) that the Spanish Air Safety Agency (AESA) has suspended “All UAV Operations in Spanish Airspace” and further has declared that all operations, which are not conducted on a “Radio-controlled Aircraft Airfield” or in Sport Hall (Not Track and Field), are Illegal”.

What is the background on that?

Spain has a high level of so called “Pirate Flyers”, those guys fly with toy –equipment or semi-professional equipment, without “Insurances”, without obeying rules in max. Altitude and max. Distances, not obeying “Data Law” and other legal issues. Since, more and more “Not – Professionals” has declared by themselves as “Professionals” and few smaller accidents, obviously happened, AESA Spain has taken the decision to stop such operations, as of 07th April 2014.

For month ago, a Spanish Filming Company flew inside Madrid in FPV Mode on a distance of more than one km, in an altitude band between 20 – 150m, along the skyscraper etc. …. For sure a nice video, but a lot of people complained! Further and important is that Madrid has areas we filming and flying is not allowed …………….

Are there possibilities to conduct flights legally?

This issue is currently under investigation, along with a consultation to AESA and Collaboration Company of Acre, which owns two private airfields and where the owners are also employees of AESA. We may be able to reach a “Demonstrator and Research License”, since we have professional insurance, we in general ask for permission from the individual land-owner, and we ask also individuals, in the case they could appear in recording.

What does it mean now for ACRE?

For the moment we cannot not operate! But we are trying to find a solution with AESA and not against them. We want to show AESA that we have taken all over the years great efforts to conduct such flights most possible correctly, with insurance, etc. etc. keeping safety distance of min. 1.5 NM to the airfield and military and governmental buildings, even checking if there is a restricted Airspace…. not flying higher than 100m ……….

As previously mentioned, we may can use one of the airfields we have available, since there we can close the Airspace by NOTAM (Notice to Airmen), which is a News System for Pilots. Further we may be able to use 2 airfields of a “Radio-controlled Aircraft Club”.

How long it may last?

There are first rumours that on the 01. June 2014 a first set of UAV regulations for the Spanish Airspace will be made available.

How we evaluate the situation?

Ok honestly we would have wished a better solution, by at least finding a smoother way, that “Companies” can continue on a first set of rules, because an economic impact could have been prevented. On the other hand, we assume this also as a chance, where hopefully rules will stop such people, who are doing risky flying and not obeying rules and laws!