Feeds

Spain clamps down on drones

There's no law to cover them, therefore they're banned

The next step in data security

Spain's Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (State Air Security Agency - AESA) has issued a declaration in which it reminds citizens that the commercial or professional use of "drones" is illegal, and that amateur UAV operation is restricted to "authorised areas".

The document (PDF) stresses that "the use of remote control aircraft for commercial or professional ends is not allowed, and never has been".

This includes sending up vehicles for aerial photography, "intelligent agriculture" (examination of crops, etc), any kind of aerial report, checking high-tension power lines or railways, border control, detection of forest fires or reconnaissance over areas affected by natural disasters in order to direct rescue services".

Regarding amateur UAVs, AESA says they come under model aircraft rules, which dictate a maximum ceiling of 100m within authorised areas, and most certainly not over "urban centres, groups of people (beaches, concerts, the streets of any city, etc)".

The agency also debunks a myth regarding a "free fly zone" up to 400ft, in which aircraft can soar with impunity. "AESA's authority extends to the ground," it notes.

Effectively, AESA has grounded pretty well every UAV in Spain, except those belonging to the military, which can fly in "segregated airspace". The agency is actually able to authorise specific flights for private operators, but while it's working on a new set of rules to classify such aircraft, and lay down rules for their operation, it "cannot grant said authorisations because there is no legal basis for it".

Spaniards wishing to fly UAVs without the risk of a fine can do so in "completely closed areas", such as "a factory or sports centre, a convention centre, a private home, etc", although football stadiums are off limits, unless they're "completely covered, without any type of opening".

According to this report, a notable victim of the ban could be the newly-inaugurated Air Traffic Laboratory for Advanced unmanned Systems (ATLAS) in Jaén.

The centre, into which the regional government of Andalusia sank €4.5m, "offers the international aerospace community the first permanent technological-scientific facility to safely perform tests, simulations and validation of technologies to be applied to UAVs".

However the company responsible for overseeing the site's construction insists AESA "approved the definition of an airspace surrounding the aerodrome as a Temporary Segregated Area (TSA), in order to carry out tests with no restrictions". ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Stray positrons caught on ISS hint at DARK MATTER source
Landlubber scope-gazers squint to horizons and see anti-electron count surge
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.