Last July 2014, the Council of Ministers approved the Royal Decree-Law 8/2014, of July 4, approving urgent measures for growth, competitiveness and efficiency,which contains the first basic legal regulation of what it calls “remotely piloted civil aircraft”, commonly Drones
What the executive intends with this pioneering regulation is to establish a legal regime that, in the first place, guarantees security and that, later, allows the development of this technological sector through future specific regulations.
The highlights of the new standard can be summarized in six points:
1. Types of drones
3 categories are established, which classifies according to their weight:
up to 2 kg.
less than 25kg
more than 25 kg.
2. Identification plate and registration.
All remotely piloted aircraft must incorporate an identification plate into their structure, stating their serial number, name of the operating company and contact information.
Drones whose weight exceeds 25kg must also be compulsorily registered in an aircraft registration registry and have a certificate of airworthiness. Drones whose weight does not reach said limit will be exempt from this requirement.
3. Types of flights allowed
At the moment, only experimental flights, test flights, demonstrations and, in general, all R&D flights are authorized for the future development of routine operations by individuals or companies.
These flights can only be carried out in areas away from agglomerations of buildings, cities, towns or places where people gather. Nor may flights be made within a distance of less than 8km from an airport.
4. The operator or owner of the drone must
- have the documentation related to its characterization (configuration, characteristics and benefits).
- have an operations manual that establishes the procedures for the operation.
- have carried out an aeronautical safety study that confirms that the flight can be carried out safely.
- have successfully carried out test flights demonstrating that the flight can be carried out safely.
- have subscribed an insurance policy that covers civil liability against third parties for damages that may arise.
- prove being in possession of any pilot's license,
- have the technical knowledge necessary to obtain any pilot license
- get a special certificate
6. Communication to AESA.
Five days before any activity of the aircraft, a communication will be made to the State Agency for Aviation Safety (AESA).
As can be seen, the requirements demanded by our legislation (especially those relating to the operator and the pilot) are not easy to fulfill. On the contrary, our legislator seems to have created the rule gripped by fear of the risks and damage that these devices may cause.
A pity, because the growth possibilities of this technology sector are very high, so much so that the European Commission has predicted that in the next 10 years this industry will account for more than 10% of this market.
We trust that the future regulation developed by this pioneering Royal Decree will overcome fears and will really make it possible for private companies to use drones.