Operations UAS/Drones — Specific Category

    The ‘specific’ category includes UAS operations with an average risk that cannot be performed in an open category.

    Prior to the conduct of air operations in a specific category with UAS, an operator registered in Spain must apply for and obtain an operational authorisation issued by the Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (hereinafter AESA) or submit a declaration for an operation that complies with a standard scenario.

    An operational authorisation or declaration shall not be required for UAS operators holding a light UAS (LUC) operator certificate.

    To declare or apply for authorisation or LUC in specific category, you must first enter UAS in the UAS operator profile. This list is not the registration of certified UAS. The following is an explanatory video on the subject:

    Video guide for the inclusion of UAS in the UAS operator profile

     

Operational statement. Standard scenarios


    A standard scenario is a type of UAS operation within the ‘specific’ category, for which a precise list of mitigation measures has been determined.

    The UAS operator, registered in Spain, may submit to AESA an operational declaration in accordance with a standard scenario if its operation can accommodate any of the published standard scenarios.

    From 31 December 2020 to 31 December 2023, UAS operators may submit declarations in accordance with the national standard scenarios (STS-ES) published by EASA. Such declarations shall be valid and may be operated as declared, until 31 December 2025.

    From 1 January 2024, UAS operators may submit declarations in accordance with the European standard scenarios set out in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

    The operational statement, for a given standard scenario, shall include:

    • administrative information on the UAS operator,
    • a statement that the operation complies with the operational requirements described in the scenario;
    • the commitment of the UAS operator to implement all mitigation measures necessary for the safety of the operation; and
    • confirmation by the UAS operator that adequate insurance will be available for each flight made within the framework of the declaration.

    These declarations will be made telematically via the AESA website from 31/12/2020 (link to the procedure). To complete the procedure the UAS operator must be previously registered as an operator. (UAS operator registration section)

    Once the declaration is signed and submitted, the application will automatically verify that it contains all the necessary elements and will automatically provide the UAS operator with a confirmation that AESA has received it and that it is complete. The operator may verify in the application the declaration with "State: Submitted", you can download both the proof of the declaration and the confirmation (acuse) of the declaration.

    The declared operations may be initiated once the UAS operator has a supporting document issued by EASA.


    National Standard Scenarios

    AESA has defined two national standard scenarios, which may include unmanned aircraft operations covered by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 in Spanish sovereignty territory and airspace.

    These national standard scenarios are analogous to European standard scenarios, providing an equivalent level of safety without obligation to operate with an aircraft with class marking through additional technical requirements and operational limitations.

    The national standard scenarios published are as follows:

    • STS-EN-01: VLOS operations on a controlled land area in a populated environment.
    • STS-EN-02: BVLOS operations with airspace observers over a controlled land area in a sparsely populated environment.

    Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/947 defines ‘controlled land area’ as a land area in which the UAS is used and where the UAS operator can ensure that only persons participating in the UAS operation are present.

    See the details and requirements of both national standard scenarios here:

     

    The following is the list of operators who have submitted an operational declaration for a national standard scenario:
    List of operators that have submitted an operational declaration for a national standard scenario (periodic update)

    European Standard Scenarios

    The European standard scenarios are detailed in Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/947 (link to regulations) and are as follows:

    • ‘STS-01’: VLOS operations on a controlled land area in a UAS-populated environment with Class C5 identification.
    • ‘STS-02’: BVLOS operations on a controlled land area in a sparsely populated environment with UAS with Class C6 identification.

    As of 1 January 2024, UAS operators will be eligible for such European standard scenarios, with the prior submission of an operational declaration for the STS-01 or STS-02 standard scenario.

Operational authorisation


    If the intended operation cannot be carried out within the limits set for the open category, nor falls within any of the published standard scenarios, the UAS operator must have an authorisation issued by the aeronautical authority prior to operation. To this end, the operator must submit an operational authorisation request based on the risk assessment to the registration authority which will be different depending on whether it conforms to a PDRA (Predefined Risk Assesment) or not:

    1. If the operation complies with a predefined risk assessment (PDRA) published by EASA, all information and documentation identified in that assessment must be provided together with the application for authorisation:
    • Justification for compliance with the mitigating measures described in the PDRA.
    • Operations manual.
    • Aircraft characterisation with a view to meeting the technical requirements of the PDRA (Technical provisions) of the PDRA.
    • Confirmation by the UAS operator that adequate insurance will be available for each flight performed to ensure the safety of the operation
    • In the case of operations in controlled airspace or FIZ, the operator shall have coordination procedures with the relevant air traffic service provider. This coordination will be requested from the ATSP once the request for operations has been declared admissible by EASA.

    The PDRAs are published by EASA as AMC pursuant to Article 11 of Regulation (EU) 2019/947 and include the list of actions that the operator must implement to perform the operation safely (for further information in EASA Easy Access Rules UAS, available under “European UAS/drones regulations”).

    1. If the operation does NOT comply with a predefined risk assessment (PDRA) published by EASA, it must be developed and provided, together with the application for authorisation:
    • Risk assessment of the operation in accordance with Article 11 of Regulation (EU) 2019/947,
    • Operations Manual,
    • Guidance material relating to the characterisation of the aircraft,
    • UAS maintenance instructions,
    • UAS maintenance records,
    • Confirmation by the UAS operator that adequate insurance will be available for each flight carried out under the authorisation and
    • Evidence of compliance with the operational safety objectives (OSOs) applicable to the operation’s SAIL.
    • In the case of operations in controlled airspace or FIZ, the operator shall have coordination procedures with the relevant air traffic service provider. This coordination will be requested from the ATSP once the request for operations has been declared admissible by EASA.

    In both cases, the UAS operator, registered in Spain, may submit an application for operational authorisation to AESA when it has prepared the required documentation and satisfactorily implemented all measures to ensure the safety of the operation.

    These applications will be made in a telematic way via the AESA website from 31/12/2020 (link to the procedure). In advance, the UAS operator must have been properly registered as a UAS operator. (UAS operator registration section).

    To assist in the submission of operational authorisations, you have the following guide:

    As well as the following reference documentation:

    Note: All these documents have been generated in support of the operator and are subject to modifications by changes to the European regulations and new AMCs and GMs or updates published by EASA.

    Once the request for operational authorisation has been submitted, EASA shall assess it and verify that the intended operation can be carried out safely.

    In the event that it is concluded that the requested operation can be carried out safely, EASA shall issue the operational authorisation.

    Once the UAS operator receives the operational authorisation, it may start the operation.

    List of operators authorised for EASA activities

     

Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC)


    Certification as a light UAS operator is a voluntary certification after which AESA can recognise privileges to the UAS operator.

    UAS operators registered in Spain may request AESA to evaluate their organisation with a view to demonstrating that they are able to assess the risks of an operation themselves.

    The requirements to be demonstrated by UAS operators are defined in Part C of Regulation (EU) 2019/947.

    Applications for LUC must be made by legal persons, submitted to AESA and contain the following information:

    • Description of the UAS operator management system, including its organisational structure and safety management system (SMS).
    • The names of the staff members responsible for the UAS operator, including the person responsible for authorising UAS operations.
    • Declaration that the operator has verified all the documentation submitted to the competent authority and verified that it complies with the applicable requirements.
    • Manual describing your organisation, management system, procedures and activities.

    The UAS operator, registered in Spain, may submit to AESA an application for certification as a light UAS operator, when it has prepared the required documentation.

    These applications will be made in a telematic way via the AESA website from 31/12/2020 (link to the procedure). The UAS operator must have been properly registered in advance.

    AESA shall evaluate the applications received and take any action it deems appropriate to ensure that the operator complies with the implementation requirements.

    When AESA determines that the operator complies with the application requirements, it shall issue a light UAS (LUC) operator certificate and recognise privileges to operators according to their maturity level.

    Privileges may be one or more of the following:

    • Perform operations covered by the standard scenario without submitting the declaration.
    • Authorise operations carried out by the operator and covered by a PDRA without requesting an authorisation.
    • Authorise all operations carried out by the operator without requesting an authorisation.

    The UAS light operator certificate shall be valid in all Member States and shall be issued for an unlimited period of time. The certificate shall remain valid provided that:

    • the holder continuously complies with the relevant requirements of this Regulation and of the Member State which issued the certificate; and
    • is not subject to waiver or revocation.

    List of operators with light UAS operator certification (LUC) (next publication)

     

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