New Royal Decree on UAS, June 4, 2014.

The new UAS Royal Decree is presented after several years of waiting for it, with the aim of boosting the drone sector in Spain. Finally, on June 4, 2024, the new legal framework regulating the use of unmanned aircraft (UAS) was approved by the Council of Ministers.

It is controversial as it brings more restrictive than permissive changes, and in some of them, according to many pilots, too invasive.

Read on as I will tell you what the most important changes are, I will also dedicate a longer part to comment on this controversial part that almost all pilots are complaining about.

Objectives of this RD

  • The RD of drones of June 4 is made to complete the European legal regime for unmanned aircraft, UAS or drones.
  • It seeks to favor the sector by developing and completing the European regulations.
  • To have a national regulatory framework consistent with that of the European Union that provides stability and legal certainty to the sector for its development, while at the same time safeguarding public safety.
  • In addition, it aims to help boost the provision of services and, in general, the economic activity of the sector, favoring the competitiveness of Spanish operators and manufacturers.

Download here the new UAS Royal Decree

Drones exempted from the Royal Decree UAS

There are some cases where this Royal Decree does NOT apply that are important to know because as a pilot they will give you a wider margin of maneuver.

It is important to know what our limits are when it comes to riding, but also to know when these limits do not apply to us:

  • The use of UAS performed in their entirety in enclosed indoor spaces in those spaces where there is a very low probability of the unmanned aircraft escaping into open airspace (鈥渋ndoor operations鈥);
  • Unmanned tethered aircraft referred to in Annex I, paragraph 2(2), points a) and b), of the Basic Regulation
  • Unmanned aircraft and military UAS or UAS used in military activities or services, as well as personnel and organizations involved in them.

Important points of this Royal Decree UAS of June 4

New zoning

  • Finalizes the distinction between recreational and professional activities and their specific zoning requirements.
  • It will be possible to fly within visual range (VLOS) up to a height of 60 meters without having to request authorization or coordination, but outside the environment of civil or military aerodromes or heliports, aerodrome flight information zones (FIZ) and in aerodrome transit zones (ATZ).
  • General zones and a framework for the creation of specific zones are established.
    (Cap. V, 3潞 sect. art. 45)
  • For reasons of operational safety, public safety and privacy, a communication must be made to the Ministry of the Interior in case you fly in populated environments (open category). The timing of this communication has been reduced from 10 days to 5 calendar days with respect to the expected date of commencement of the operation.
    (cap铆tulo V, 2陋 section, art. 40 a).)

Where not to fly the drone

Remind you that flights in urban environment and in ‘open’ category are not allowed:

Flying over buildings
Stable constructions similar to buildings, houses.

Domicile of natural persons, including in all cases their recreational areas, yards and zones
similar, whether publicly or privately owned.

  • A framework for the single digital publication of UAS geographic areas is created.
  • Royal Decree UAS 1919/2009 on aerial demonstrations is amended, bringing certain requirements into line with those established in the European regulation, such as distances to uninvolved personnel. In addition, it includes the obligation of NOTAM management directly by the director of the demonstration with the air traffic service provider (ATSP) concerned, without AESA acting as an intermediary.

U-SPACE

  • The U-SPACE legal regime has been completed, especially in terms of competencies and by establishing limitations and operational conditions associated with UAS geographic areas.
  • The Interministerial Commission for Defense and Transport (CIDETRA) is responsible for the designation of airspace as U-Space.
  • AESA will manage Common Information Service Provider (CISP) certificates and U-Space Service Provider (USSP) certificates.

Civilian NON EASA operations

  • In this Royal Decree UAS have been practically regulated NON EASA operations, customs, police, search and rescue, fire fighting, border control, coastal surveillance or similar.
    (chapter III, section 1)
  • The training regime is completed for operations carried out under an operational authorization (specific category), those for activities not subject to European regulations, those NOT subject to EASA, and those reserved for the training of radio operators specific to UAS Drones.
  • Elimination of operational limitation with UAS up to 25 kg maximum take-off mass (MTOM).
  • It will be possible to fly in ‘specific’ category as long as a SORA is available, creating a training scheme and empowered entities in STS-ES.
  • In case of disaster and emergencyIf the public authorities responsible for the management of such situations may require your collaboration as an operator, you will be able to operate under the same conditions not EASA, so you can lend a hand in this type of situations that I, personally, have been able to see myself on some occasions here driving here in Mallorca.
  • The minimum age to act as a UAS operator or remote pilot to perform non-EASA activities or services is set at 16 years old.

EASA Operations

  • ENAIRE has been designated as the entity responsible for making available, in a single common digital format, the information on the geographical areas of UAS identified within the territory and airspace under Spanish sovereignty.
  • Regulation of training in specific authorized categories, the regulation of Designated Entities is introduced and the figure of Instructor, Examiner and Evaluator is created.
    (chapter IV, section 1)
  • Una de las partes negativas (entre algunas otras) que tiene este nuevo Real Decreto UAS es sobre el t铆tulo de Radiofonista:
    • It will be valid indefinitely if issued by EASA.
    • Una validez de 2 a帽os si lo obtuviste con un examinador autorizado por AESA. Creo que a muchos toca pasar hacerlo de nuevo.
      Como Radiofonista titulado deber谩s contar con el equipo requerido para la operaci贸n en la respectiva zona. Yo uso como equipo de radio el Yaesu FTA-450L (Banda a茅rea) y va perfecto.
      • On first contact with air traffic services units, UAS call signs shall include the words 鈥淯nmanned鈥 or 鈥淯nmanned鈥.
  • Exenciones de seguros obligatorios de responsabilidad civil en categor铆a abierta para drones de menos de 20kg seg煤n la Ley 48/1960, 21 de julio, y seg煤n los l铆mites de cobertura establecidos, excepto aquellos UAS que vuelen en:
    • ‘Open’ Category (subcategory A2)
    • ‘Specific’ Category (STS-01 and STS-02)
    • ‘Certified’ Category

Reduction of the minimum age to fly a drone

  • Reducci贸n de la edad m铆nima de pilotos a distancia que para operaciones en categor铆a abierta, actualmente, es de 16 a帽os (apartado I del Reglamento de Ejecuci贸n) pero que pasa a 14 y 12 a帽os seg煤n:
    • 14 a帽os:
      • When in subcategory A1 piloting a C1 class UAS.
      • When in subcategory A2 or A3 piloting a C2 class drone.
      • When in subcategory A3 piloting a class C3 or C4 drone.
      • If they pilot a private construction drone with an MTOM of < 25 kg.
    • 12 a帽os:
      • When piloting in subcategory A1 a class C0 drone, which is not a toy within the meaning of Royal Decree 1205/2011, of August 26, on the safety of toys.

Drones for kids: A father giving his son a drone as a present

Registration of purchase and sale of aircraft

The last point of the EASA Operations is the most controversial part of the new UAS Royal Decree of June 4.

Apart from the registration of UAS operators, it will be mandatory to keep a comprehensive logging and tracking of drone transactions, whether purchased new from the store, second hand or as if you crash it and render it unusable; you will need to record that the drone will no longer be used

The UAS registration part begins in Chapter VI. I will explain it below.

Article 53. Creation of the Registry

The Registry of unmanned aircraft of the Ministry of the Interior is created within the Secretariat of State for Security for the purpose of preventing, investigating or detecting the commission of criminal offenses and administrative nature, including the protection and prevention against threats to public safety and security.

Aircraft or maximum take-off mass of 250 grams or more or equipped with a camera, regardless of its MTOM, will be registered, unless it is a toy.

The data we would have to record are:

  1. Name or company name of the manufacturer, model and serial number of the aircraft.
  2. Name, surname and personal identification number or corporate name or relationship and address of the establishment that sells the aircraft or the data that allow the identification of the commercializing company in the case of online purchases.
  3. Name, surname and personal identification number, company name or corporate name, tax identification number and domicile, natural or legal persons acquiring the unmanned aircraft.
  4. The registry shall be organized in such a way that aircraft data are linked to their owners at all times.

Article 54. Registration obligations

  • The seller is obliged to communicate to the UAS Registry according to the information provided for in Article 52.2, letters a) to c), both inclusive, within 1 month from the day following the purchase/sale.
  • If you buy a drone outside Spain you are obliged to communicate to the UAS registry the information provided in the article, etc., within one month from the day after the purchase.
  • If you fail to comply with the obligations set forth in this article, you may be subject to the penalties set forth in this law.

Article 55. Obligations to communicate the transfer

  • If you are the seller of a UAS, you have a period of one month from the day after selling it and you must make a declaration stating: the identification of the aircraft, the seller and the buyer, as well as the date and title of transfer.
  • Failure to comply with the obligation will result in administrative, civil and criminal liabilities in accordance with the applicable regulations. And may result in the immobilization or deposit of the aircraft, in accordance with the provisions of the regulations in force.

Your drone may be taken away from you if you do not communicate!

Article 56. Obligations on loss of UAS

The owner of the aircraft or object of registration is obliged to notify the UAS registry of its disappearance, loss or theft, its subsequent location or recovery, as well as its total destruction within a maximum period of 15 days from the following day.

Article 57. Additional obligations of the establishment

The establishment located in Spanish territory that markets the aircraft must keep a record of the UAS they sell.

Anyone selling a drone will have to have an aircraft registry with all the aircraft they have sold and the details of the people who bought them.

The owners of these establishments will be obliged to disclose buyers’ datai.e. us, to the members of the State Security Forces and Corps under the National Government, and to the Police Corps of the Autonomous Communities when they request it, with the consent of the National Government, and to the Police Corps of the Autonomous Communities when they request it. for the purpose of investigation, detection and prosecution of a crime..

These personal data will be deleted from the registry after 5 years.

This issue of unmanned aircraft registration was already proposed to be carried out in the previous Royal Decree UAS of 1036/2017, and which was finally revoked, perhaps the war situation taking place in a part of Europe has given the green light to these proposals?

What do you think of these new changes that have been presented in this new UAS Royal Decree? Do you agree with everyone? What do you like the most and the least? Share it!

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