We would like to ensure that you are still receiving content that you find useful – please confirm that you would like to continue to receive ILO newsletters.
28 April 2021
Since the EU Commission Implementing Regulation (2019/947/EU) on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) (24 May 2019) took effect on 31 December 2020, air operations with UAS (also known as 'drones') have been governed by EU legislation.
The EU legal framework leaves member states with a certain level of flexibility to regulate matters outside the scope of the EU Commission Implementing Regulation. Further, within the transitional period and until the complete implementation of the EU regulations in 2023, member states must adapt their domestic laws on UAS operations to the provisions of the EU regulations. Until such implementation is complete, both legal frameworks must coexist and not contradict each other. Thus, the assumption of competences in all EU territories is not on an exclusive basis.
Among the matters reserved for member states, the EU Commission Implementing Regulation provides that the competent authorities of each member state may have decision-making capacity in various areas, including:
Spain is developing domestic laws to adapt its regulations to the new EU regulations. A project of royal decree to adapt the legal framework on UAS operations in Spain is expected to be approved and take effect in 2021.
This project of royal decree will establish the measures and restrictions which will apply to operations within the competences of member states, including all of the aforementioned matters but with a particular focus on the UAS geographical zones established in the EU Commission Implementing Regulation.
In particular, the project of royal decree will seek to define the applicable requirements of such zones, highlighting the following:
Most of these UAS geographical zones will have the same requirement – namely, the UAS operator must apply for the special permit of the manager or entity entitled to the control of the zone to allow the flight within the limits of such zone. As well as the existing requirements provided in the EU Commission Implementing Regulation, pursuant to the project of royal decree, UAS operators will have to be aware of their obligation to carry out the necessary communications and gather the required permissions from the manager of each UAS geographical zone when preparing operation flight plans.
Similarly, in overcrowded cities (eg, Barcelona and Madrid), UAS operators will likely have to obtain multiple authorisations prior to performing UAS operations, with the risk that any denials may compromise operations. The appropriate coordination between UAS operators and entities or administrations in charge of each UAS geographical zone should be planned so that restrictions do not hinder the economic development of this sector.
For further information on this topic please contact Miquel Campos Faura at Augusta Abogados by telephone (+34 933 621 620) or email (email@example.com). The Augusta Abogados website can be accessed at www.augustaabogados.com.
The materials contained on this website are for general information purposes only and are subject to the disclaimer.
ILO is a premium online legal update service for major companies and law firms worldwide. In-house corporate counsel and other users of legal services, as well as law firm partners, qualify for a free subscription.