Want to fly your drone in Spain? Read this guide to understand all the drone regulations and requirements for legal drone operations in Spain.

Drones are becoming increasingly popular for both personal and commercial use. However, there are specific drone laws in Spain that pilots need to follow for safe and legal flight.

This comprehensive guide covers everything you need to know about drone regulations in Spain. We will go over different categories of drones, certification and permitting requirements, where you can and cannot fly, and other operational limitations. Understanding the drone laws in Spain is crucial to avoid facing penalties and fly responsibly.

Drone Laws in Spain Summary

Here is a quick summary of the key drone laws in Spain:

  • Drones are categorized by weight into open, specific, and certified categories with different rules.
  • Drones under 250g can be flown without certification, but above 250g requires a pilot license.
  • Permits needed for drones over 2kg and for commercial, night, urban, or BVLOS flights.
  • Must keep drones 30 meters away from people and 150 meters away from residential, industrial, or recreational areas.
  • No drone flights allowed in prohibited and restricted areas near airports, government sites, nature reserves, and other sensitive locations.
  • Maximum flight heights range from 120m to 500m above ground level depending on category.
  • Night flights only permitted with special authorization and required anti-collision lighting.
  • Drone pilot liability insurance is mandatory in Spain.
  • Privacy laws prohibit recording videos/photos of people without their consent.

We will now go over these drone regulations in Spain in more detail below.

Drone Categories in Spain

Spain follows the drone categories specified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA):

Open Category

This covers small recreational drones that pose a low risk. To qualify for the open category:

  • Drone weight must be under 25kg
  • Drone must have a CE class identification label from 0-4
  • Flying only for recreational or educational purposes
  • Following general EU drone regulation rules

Most hobbyist drones like DJI Phantoms and Mavics fall under the open category. You must still register drones heavier than 250g though.

Specific Category

For intermediate drone operations with higher risks, such as:

  • Drone weight between 25kg – 150kg
  • Flying near people
  • Urban drone flights
  • Flying multiple drones simultaneously
  • Longer range BVLOS flights

Requires registering a detailed flight operation plan and getting approval from the aviation authority.

Certified Category

For highly complex drone activities like:

  • Drone weight over 150kg
  • Flying in risky areas
  • Carrying dangerous payloads
  • Large scale drone shows

Needs an airworthiness certificate and full compliance with aviation standards.

Drone Pilot Requirements in Spain

To legally fly a drone in Spain, you need a drone pilot license if required for your type of operation:

No Pilot License Needed

For the open category, you can fly drones under 250g without any certification. This covers many small consumer drones.

Drone Pilot License

A drone pilot license is mandatory in Spain if:

  • Flying any drone heavier than 250g
  • Any commercial drone flight
  • Flying drone in specific or certified categories

The recreational drone pilot license is called the PDR license and the commercial license is the Pilot A2 Certificate. You have to be at least 16 years old to qualify for the license.

There is both a theoretical exam on airspace rules as well as a practical flight proficiency test. The drone pilot license does not expire and applies across all EU countries.

Drone Registration in Spain

  • All drones weighing 250g and above must be registered in Spain. This costs a 5 Euro fee.
  • You can register online at the Spanish Drone Registry website by creating an account and entering your drone details.
  • The registration process will provide a unique registration number for the drone, which must be marked visibly on the drone.
  • Registration is mandatory before flying the drone and must be renewed every 5 years.

Where You Can and Cannot Fly Drones in Spain

There are numerous restrictions on where you can fly drones in Spain:

Prohibited Areas

Drones are strictly prohibited from flying in these areas:

  • Within an 8km radius of any airport or flight takeoff/landing path
  • Over urban areas like cities, towns, and settlements
  • Near government facilities like prisons, military bases, presidential estates, and other protected sites
  • National parks, nature reserves, protected natural areas
  • Areas declared as provisionally restricted during temporary events

Restricted Areas

There are limitations on flying in these areas:

  • Within a 15km radius around a controlled aerodrome or airport – needs ATC permission
  • Within a radius between 8-15km of airports – can only fly up to 120m high
  • Near airports or heliports – must stay 5km away horizontally
  • Over groups of people
  • Less than 100m away from crowds horizontally
  • Within 150m away from residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas
  • Within 50m from buildings, structures, vehicles or people not associated with the drone flight

Permission may be granted for some restricted zones but requires submitting detailed flight plans.

Permitted Areas

It is generally safe to fly drones in these areas by default:

  • Outside urban areas and away from crowds and buildings
  • In open rural spaces and fields
  • Over large bodies of water like lakes or the sea shoreline
  • Public parks and open areas if no crowds are present within 30 meters

While drones may be allowed in these zones, all other flight rules and limitations still apply.

Drone Flight Rules in Spain

When flying drones in Spain, you must abide by these general flight rules:

  • Maintain visual line-of-sight with the drone at all times
  • Only fly during daylight – night flights require special approval
  • Do not fly through clouds or fog which obscures vision
  • Give way and do not interfere with any manned aircraft operations
  • Respect privacy – do not record or photograph people without their consent
  • Do not fly over crowds or large gatherings of people
  • Stay at least 30 meters away from people and properties during flight
  • Follow speed limits – under 120 km/h in general and 30km/h near people
  • Maximum altitude 120m generally, or 50m in controlled airspace
  • Do not transport dangerous materials or drop any objects
  • Only fly if wind speeds are under 36km/h
  • Stay sober – do not operate drones under influence of drugs or alcohol

Other Drone Regulations in Spain

Some other important drone rules to know in Spain:

Night Flights

  • Night drone flights are restricted in Spain and require special authorization.
  • Drones must have anti-collision strobe lights visible from over 3km away to fly at night.
  • Night drone flights are only approved over uninhabited areas away from urban zones.

BVLOS Drone Flights

  • Beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone flights are permitted but require additional permissions.
  • Need to submit in-depth flight operational plan and procedure manuals to obtain approval.

Urban Drone Flights

  • Flying drones over dense urban areas is restricted but can be approved with detailed plans that address safety, noise, and privacy factors.

Drone Liability Insurance

  • Drone pilots are legally required to have valid civil liability insurance to cover potential damages caused during flight.
  • Minimum insurance coverage amounts range from 750,000 Euros to 1.5 million Euros depending on max drone weight.

Privacy Laws

  • Capturing videos, photos, or recordings of people without their explicit consent can violate privacy laws.
  • Blurring faces may still not be enough to comply with privacy regulations for drone footage.

Penalties for Violating Drone Laws

Breaking drone rules can lead to severe penalties in Spain:

  • Fines up to 225,000 Euros for illegal drone flight infractions
  • Confiscation of drone equipment
  • Temporary or permanent loss of drone pilot licenses
  • Imprisonment sentences under certain circumstances

Some of the most common violations include:

  • Flying without drone pilot license where required
  • Flying in prohibited or restricted areas
  • Operating unsafe and reckless drone flights
  • Recording illegal videos and photographs of people

Penalties are heightened for infractions that endanger manned aircraft or people on the ground.


Adhering to Spain’s drone regulations is crucial for safe and legal UAV operations. By registering your drone, obtaining your pilot license, and flying in permitted areas responsibly, you can enjoy your drone flights while remaining compliant with the law. Stay up to date on Spain’s drone rules as they continue to evolve. Most importantly, put safety first and avoid taking risks. Happy and responsible flying!

  1. Drones categorized into open, specific and certified groups with different rules
  2. Pilot license required for drones 250g and up
  3. Drone registration mandatory over 250g
  4. No flying near airports, urban areas, crowds or government sites
  5. Maximum 120m height, 30km/h speeds, and daylight only flights
  6. BVLOS and night flights need special approval
  7. Minimum liability insurance required based on drone weight
  8. Privacy laws prohibit unauthorized filming of people
  9. Heavy fines for violating drone regulations

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