Civilian air demonstrations

    In order to ensure the safety of the various aeronautical exhibitions and festivals held in Spain, in 2010 Royal Decree 1919/2009 of 11 December 2009 regulating the aeronautical safety of civil air demonstrations entered into force, which lays down the applicable requirements for the conduct and authorisation of a civil air demonstration.

    This Royal Decree applies to any civil air demonstration in which an exhibition or show is offered in the course of an event publicly announced and open to the general public or with restricted access, including flights outside the air demonstration programme where flight exhibitions or stunts are held for the purpose of promoting the demonstration.

    Royal Decree 1919/2009 does not apply to:

    • Military air demonstrations or exhibitions organised by the military administration.
    • Advertising flights, carried out during the air demonstration, provided that they are not part of it, take place outside the demonstration programme and do not perform stunts or exhibitions.
    • Official sporting competitions, irrespective of their territorial scope, which take place subject to the provisions of Law 10/1990 of 15 October 1990 on Sport or regional legislation applicable.
    • Aeronautical meetings without flight display.
    • Aircraft evolutions made in accordance with the Air Circulation Regulation, even though their spectacular nature can attract the public’s attention, provided that their objective is not to offer a spectacle of evolutions.

    In addition to complying with the provisions of Royal Decree 1919/2009, participants using aircraft to which European regulation applies (see Article 2(1) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139) must comply with Commission Regulation (EU) 965/2012 of 5 October 2012 whether they engage in commercial operations or perform non-commercial operations, as follows:

    • Operators engaged in specialised commercial operations: They must comply with Annexes III (Part-ORO) and VIII (Part-SPO) to Regulation (EU) 965/2012 and must have submitted the corresponding declaration of compliance in the State in which the operator has the head office
    • Operators engaged in non-commercial operations with complex powered aircraft: They must comply with Annexes III (Part-ORO) and VII (Part-NCC) to Regulation (EU) 965/2012 and must have submitted the corresponding declaration of compliance in the State in which the operator has the head office
    • Operators engaged in non-commercial operations with aircraft other than complex powered aircraft: They must comply with Annex VII (Part-NCO) to Regulation (EU) 965/2012

    Participants using aircraft to which European regulation does not apply (see Art. 2.3(d) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1139) must obtain the corresponding authorisation to operate in Spain.

    Declaration of conformity

    In order to carry out a civil air demonstration, it is necessary, in general, to issue the corresponding declaration of conformity by the State Aviation Safety Agency, once compliance with the requirements laid down in Royal Decree 1919/2009 has been verified.

    The organiser of the air demonstration must request the State Aviation Safety Agency to issue the declaration of conformity at least three (3) months before the date of its conclusion (Article 28 Royal Decree 1919/2009).

    Together with the application form (see art. 29) included in Annex IV to the Royal Decree, the organiser must submit the documentation required on that form, as well as any other additional documentation including:

    Proposal of the Director and Deputy Director of the Air Demo

    Airspace Coordination Form

    Information form on facilities and services

    Demonstration programme

    List of participants according to aircraft category

    Form 791 for the payment of the 32nd tariff for the provision of services and activities in the field of air navigation (Tax Code 312)

    As regards the conditions for coordination of airspace, if the airspace restriction is requested, the request shall be addressed to the Delegation or Subdelegation of the Government of the province in which the demonstration is to take place.

    Demonstrations for which no declaration of conformity is required

    Although, in general, it is necessary to obtain a declaration of conformity in order to carry out a civil air demonstration, Royal Decree 1919/2009 provides for certain exceptions (see Art. 26) in which it is not necessary to obtain such a declaration, which are set out below:

    Events involving exclusively manned balloons.

    Demonstrations consisting exclusively of parachuting exhibitions.

    Exhibitions which limit the following activities:

    • Non-motorised skydiving, hang-wing and paragliding;
    • Wings delta and paragliding with motor or model aircraft.

    Demonstrations or restricted-access civil air exhibits not open to the general public.

    Instead, the organiser must submit a declaration responsible for compliance with the requirements laid down in Royal Decree 1919/2009 at least fifteen (15) days before the date of the demonstration.

    Together with the Declaration of Conformity, the organiser must provide all necessary data regarding the use of airspace to process the publication of a NOTAM.

    IMPORTANT: The publication of NOTAM is a prerequisite for the demonstration.

    Criteria for the use of remotely piloted aircraft

    The use of remotely piloted aircraft in air demonstrations is subject to compliance with the provisions of the Second Additional Provision and the Third Additional Provision of Royal Decree 1036/2017 of 15 December 2017 and must therefore be operated:

    At a distance of at least 8 km from the reference point of any airport or aerodrome and the same distance from the runway axles and their extension, at both headwaters, to a distance of 6 km from the threshold for detachment from the runway. This minimum distance may be reduced when agreed with the airport manager or infrastructure manager, and, if any, with the aerodrome air traffic service provider, and the operation shall be in accordance with the provisions of the latter in the relevant coordination procedure.

    Outside controlled airspace, flight information zones (FIZs) or any aerodrome transit zone (ATZ), except for operations carried out from infrastructure for remotely piloted aircraft, under the conditions laid down in the coordination procedures agreed by the person responsible for those infrastructures with the air traffic service provider.

    At a maximum height on the ground not exceeding 400 ft (120 m), or above the highest obstacle within a radius of 150 m (500 ft) from the aircraft.

    In daytime flight and under visual flight meteorological conditions.

    Within the pilot’s visual range, without the aid of optical or electronic devices, except corrective lenses or sunglasses. In the case of the use of first-person vision devices (FPVs), the operation shall be carried out within the visual range, without the aid of such devices, of observers who remain in permanent contact with the pilot.

    Giving priority to all other categories of aircraft.

    For remotely piloted aircraft up to 2 kg MTOW flying at a maximum height of 50 metres only (1), (2) and (5) shall apply.

    Under no circumstances may the following operations be carried out:

    On agglomerations of buildings in inhabited cities, towns or places or open-air gatherings, except in the case of aircraft up to 250 g operating at a maximum height of not more than 20 m.

    In areas reserved, prohibited or restricted to air navigation, as well as installations referred to in Article 32 of Royal Decree 1036/2017


    Access to Electronic Headquarters


    Material Guide

    Annex II, paragraph 1(a) of Royal Decree 1919/2009 of 11 December 2009 provides that 'the Director of the demonstration may accept that the conditions of recent experience in the preceding paragraphs are met when the participants have practiced on another type of aircraft representative of the same class as that to be used in the demonstration, where it is not logical to expect the pilot to have practiced in the demonstration, either because of the age or special characteristics of the aircraft, or because of the restrictive conditions under which it may be allowed to fly.

    In this regard, it is necessary to specify that an aircraft representing the same class is defined. For the purposes of considering an aircraft as representative of the same class, aircraft with similar technical and operational characteristics shall be taken into account in relation to:

    • Engine technology.
    • Certification basis.
    • Level of automatisms.
    • Flight control logic (e.g. fly-by-wire, conventional, etc.).
    • Aircraft size and weight (MTOW, turbulent trail category...).
    • Emergency equipment and aircraft systems.
    • Cabin configuration.
    • Emergency exits and evacuation systems

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