Support material for drone operators on the implementation of European regulations

The entry into application of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 on 31 December 2020 has brought about changes for all operators of Drones/UAS

The entry into application of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/947 on 31 December 2020 has led to changes for all operators of Drones/UAS intending to engage in both recreational and professional activities (including modellers).

The minimum obligations to be fulfilled before flying any drone:

- Registration as operator: All users intending to fly a drone must register as operators at the AESA website and obtain the operator number according to European regulations (UAS Operator Registration section). Once the operator number has been obtained, this number should be visibly included in the drone.

- Training as a pilot: To fly a drone, the pilot must have acquired minimum competencies depending on the operational category in which it is operated. Different levels of remote pilot training are distinguished according to the operational category, from the most basic to the most complex: “open” (subcategories A1, A2, A3), “specific” (requires operational authorisation or declaration) and “certified”. Training and examination in ‘open’ category for subcategories A1/A3 is accessible via the AESA website (UAS Pilot Training section). The training or exam is online and free of charge. After passing the examination, EASA issues the appropriate pilot certificate.

- Availability of compulsory liability insurance: an insurance policy covering civil liability against third parties for damages that may arise during and for the execution of each flight carried out, both for recreational and professional purposes, must be contracted. More information on insurance in the section of European UAS/dronesregulations

- Flight rules: The flight of drones is subject to general rules of operation conditioned, among others, by the weight of the drone, the presence of other people and the proximity to buildings. You can consult the different operational categories in the section “UAS operations/drones”, where you also have a questionnaire that will help you to find out in which operational category the intended flights would be framed and instructions to carry them out (link to questionnaire)

- Place of flight: In addition to the general rules of drone operation, there are requirements, limitations, prohibitions and restrictions for the flight of drones for different reasons: proximity of aerodromes, military zones, protection of critical infrastructure, environmental protection, etc. See the section “Flight with UAS/drones” for flight requirements in the different areas of Spain.

How to register as an operator

Operators of Drones/UAS must be registered as an operator when using any of the following types of Drones/UAS:

Use in the ‘open’ category any unmanned aircraft:

With an MTOM of 250 g or more, or which, in the event of a collision, is capable of transferring to a human a kinetic energy greater than 80 joules;
equipped with a sensor capable of capturing personal data, unless it complies with Directive 2009/48/EC (“Toys Directive”).

Use an unmanned aircraft of any mass in the ‘specific’ category.

A Drones/UAS operator is any natural or legal person who uses or intends to use one or more drones for both professional and recreational purposes (including modellers).

Registration must be carried out in the Member State of residence or where the economic activity takes place, and it is not possible to be registered in more than one state at a time.

Registration as operator of Drones/UAS in AESA is free of charge and is done through the website of AESA.

This procedure will be automatic and immediate if digital certificate or electronic ID is used.

Obtaining operator code of Drones/UAS (registration as operator of Drones/UAS) is also mandatory for operators authorised on the basis of Law 18/2014 and Royal Decree 1036/2017 (except activities NO EASA).

The generated Drones/UAS operator registration number shall be included in a visible location in all drones of the operator.

The following guide and video detail the instructions to follow to register as a Drones/UAS operator:

Guide document for registration as UAS v3 operator


*Except non-EASA activities (Fire Fight, Search and Rescue, Police, Customs, etc.)

**or if you have been hired as a remote pilot or fly for another person, in which case the person to register is the drone operating organisation.


Operator Support Guides

AESA has published several guides to make it easier for operators to comply with the requirements of the European UAS regulations.

Non-EASA activities:

- Guide to qualify as operator of Drones to perform activities or services NO EASA v1
- Guide to the application for authorisation to perform activities or services NO EASA v1

‘Specific’ category:

- Guide to the submission of an operational declaration v3
- Key requirements of the standard scenario STS-ES-01 v1
Key requirements of the STS-ES-02 v1 standard scenario
Guide to the submission of an application for operational authorisation v4
Guidance material for the submission of an application for a light UAS operator certificate v1
GuidanceMaterial Operating Manual v2
Guidance Material Technical Characterisation UAS v1
- Guidance Material for Pilots in ‘Specific' category under Authorisation 
Guidance Material OSOs in SAIL I v2
Guidance Material OSOs in SAIL II v3
Guidance Material Mitigations GRC v1
Appendices Guidance Material justification OSOs and Mitigations SAIL I and II v1




Key requirements of the STS-ES-01 standard scenario





Key requirements of the STS-ES-02 standard scenario





Guides for Pilot Training

- Agenda course training subcategory A1/A3 v8
- Course registration and examination guide subcategories A1/A3 v4
Agenda course training subcategory A2 v4
- Registration guide for the exam subcategory A2 v5
- Registration guide for the STS exam v4





Frequently Asked Questions

AESA has prepared a FAQ document on the new European regulatory framework for drones/UAS that came into force on 31 December 2020, which aims to facilitate operators’ transition from national to European legislation, explaining, in addition to the main regulatory changes, the deadlines for their entry into force and the actions to be taken.

The main objective is to address the ‘open’ and ‘specific’ categories of the new Community regulatory framework governing the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as ‘drones’, and the main changes that apply with regard to Royal Decree 1036/2017, which continues to govern non-EASA activities.

Check here all you need to know about the new European drone regulation.