Aeromodelism

Regulatory Framework Aeromodelism


    Model aircraft and model aircraft are subject to compliance with Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 applicable from 31 December 2020, provided that such flights are not carried out inside buildings or fully enclosed spaces.

    However, in accordance with Article 21.3 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947, modelling may continue to be carried out in accordance with the national implementing rules, the second, third and fifth additional provisions of Royal Decree 1036/2017, until 1 January 2023.

     

Registration as UAS Operators


    Regardless of the different options indicated later for the practice of modeling, all model pilots must be registered as UAS operators whenever they intend to make flights:

    • With aeromodels having a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) exceeding 250 grams or which, in the event of a collision, can transfer to a human a kinetic energy greater than 80 joules (e.g. “racersdrones).
    • With aeromodels that have sensors capable of capturing personal data and are not considered toys (according to Directive 2009/48/EC), for example with photo camera or video from MTOM<250 g, except toys.
    • In ‘specific’ category (Art. 14.5.b Reg.(EU)2019/947).

    Registration as UAS operator is free of charge and is done through the AESA website. To make such registration there are two options:

    • At individual level (required electronic ID, digital certificate or scanned ID), according to the instructions provided in the UAS/drones operator registration section of the AESA website.
    • Within the framework of a club or aeromodeling association, giving permission to the club or association, to register them on its behalf. For this purpose, the following registration guide for model aeroplane clubs and associations is available:

    UAS Operator Registration Guide for V1 Aeromodeling Clubs and Associations

    The minimum age to register as a UAS operator is 18 years. For those users of lower age, they must operate under the cover of a registered UAS operator.

    As regards the registration of aircraft in the application of EASA, there is only an obligation to register aeromodels when it is intended to operate in the ‘specific’ category.

     

Flight with Aeromodels


    Currently, and for a transitional period until 1 January 2023, the practice of modelling in Spain can be carried out according to one of the following 4 options, provided that the conditions defined in each of them are met and is registered as UAS operator as indicated in the previous section:

     

    Option 0 (Transitional period)

    On the basis of national rules, operations may continue to be carried out without additional authorisation until 1 January 2023. Model aeroplanes shall:

    • Fly in the places enabled to do so and comply with the conditions and limitations established by the clubs or associations.
    • The operational conditions indicated in additional provision 2 and 3 of Royal Decree 1036/2017 must be complied with, such as:
      • Refrain from any action that could jeopardise the safety, regularity and continuity of aeronautical operations.
      • Maximum height limitation on the ground not exceeding 400 ft ( 120 m).
      • Daytime flights and under visual weather conditions. At night it is possible with MTOM < UAS 2 kg and height limited to 50 m on the ground.
      • Within the pilot’s visual range (VLOS). In the case of the use of first-person vision devices (FPV), it must be flown within the visual range of observers who remain in permanent contact with the pilot.
      • Operate at a minimum distance of 8 km from the reference point of any airport or aerodrome and the same distance from the runway axles and their extension, at both headers, up to a distance of 6 km from the runway threshold or be coordinated with the infrastructure manager and ATS provider if any.
      • For flights in controlled airspace or FIZ, after coordination of the conditions of use with the air traffic service provider.
      • It is not possible to fly over facilities affecting the National Defence or the security of the State or its security zone.
      • Flight in the vicinity of critical facilities and infrastructures is not allowed.
      • The overflight of installations and infrastructures in the chemical, transport, energy, water and information and communications technologies shall be carried out at a minimum height of 50 m and at least 25 m horizontal distance from their axis in the case of linear infrastructures and not less than 10 m from their outer perimeter in the other cases.

    For more information on the need for coordination of aeromodeling clubs or associations depending on the location of their fields, you have at your disposal an information note published on the AESA website:

    Note for aeromodeling clubs v1.2

    • No training requirement is required beyond those established by the club or aeromodeling association.
    • No minimum age requirement is set for remote pilots operating under this option.
    • No limitation to the mass and dimensions of the model aircraft is established.

     

    Option 1 Flights in ‘open’ category complying with the particular requirements of subcategory A3 according to Regulation (EU) 2019/947

    These flights must take place in areas where no non-participant is endangered and at a minimum horizontal distance of 150 m from residential, commercial, industrial or recreational areas.

    Aeromodels shall have a maximum take-off mass of less than 25 kg and pilots have passed the training and examination corresponding to subcategory A1/A3.

    For more information on the operation requirements in subcategory A3 click here.

    More information on remote pilot training and examination in subcategory A1/A3 here.

    As regards the minimum age of pilots who can fly in subcategory A3 ‘open’ category, this age is set at 16 years. However, there shall be no minimum age provided that the remote pilot has the appropriate training and is supervised by a UAS pilot aged 16 or over.

     

    Option 2 Flights in Private Geographical Areas

    A geographical area of UAS is defined as a part of the airspace established by the competent authority that facilitates, restricts or excludes UAS operations in order to manage risks to security, protection, privacy, personal data protection or the environment. Pursuant to Article 15 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947, the Interministerial Commission for Defence — Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda (CIDETMA), the competent body for airspace structuring, may designate geographical areas where UAS operations are exempt from one or more requirements of the ‘open’ category.

     

    Option 3 Authorisation issued by the competent authority for UAS operations under cover of a model airline club or association

    Depending on the operations to be performed, if they cannot be framed within the open category (option 1), an operational authorisation issued by AESA at the request of a club or model airline association will be required.

    In accordance with Article 16 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947, a model airline club, association or federation may request AESA to issue an authorisation to conduct operations with UAS in the framework of modelling clubs or associations.

    By way of example, operations requiring operational authorisation would be as follows:

    • Made at a height exceeding 120 m;
    • Made from aircraft with an MTOM exceeding 25 kg;
    • Made from aircraft other than privately manufactured aircraft with a combustion system;
    • Involving the overflight of concentrations of persons;
    • Carried out beyond the pilot’s visual range (BVLOS);

    The authorisations that AESA may issue to model aeroplane clubs or associations shall be made in accordance with the procedures, the organisational structure and the management system of the modelling club or association, ensuring that:

    • Pilots flying in the framework of the model aeroplane club or association are aware of the limitations and conditions defined in the authorisation;
    • Pilots flying within the framework of the model aeroplane club or association receive assistance in achieving the minimum competence to enable them to safely fly the UAS;
    • The model airline club or association takes appropriate measures when it is aware that a pilot does not comply with the conditions and limitations defined in the authorisation;
    • The model airline club or association provides AESA with the necessary documentation for monitoring and monitoring purposes.

    The authorisation issued by EASA shall specify the conditions under which flight operations with aeromodels within the club or association may be carried out, including in each case the minimum age required of remote pilots. Such authorisation shall be limited to the national territory.

    In order to apply for authorisation of UAS operations in the framework of aeromodeling clubs and associations, the interested party may submit his request to the UAS Division of AESA through the procedure authorised for that purpose. In any case, the application must be made by the modelling club, association or federation by attaching the documentation satisfying the requirements laid down in Article 16 of Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947. A guide to the submission of applications for authorisation is made available to clubs or associations at the following link:

    Operational Authorisation Presentation Guide for Model Aircraft v1

    For more information on the practice of modelling, please refer to the following presentation:

    Presentation on the practice of modelling with the new regulatory framework v1

    For any questions about these questions, you can contact AESA via the following email address: drones.aesa@seguridadaerea.es

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