A professional drone operator is being investigated for using false documents to request authorisation to fly over the city of Girona
Agents from the Air Safety Technical Unit (UTSA) of the Catalan regional police, Mossos d’Esquadra, conducted an investigation in concert with ENAIRE, the air navigation manager, involving alleged false documents following a request by a professional drone operator to carry out a drone flight.
To get ENAIRE, the air navigation manager, to approve the flight, the man gave false information, claiming that the flight was being made at the request of the policeThe man under investigation filed the request in late April, providing documentation stating that the drone flight was to be carried out in the controlled airspace of the Girona-Costa Brava Airport and in an urban area of the city of Girona at the request of the police. The flight was also planned to go over congested areas of cities and open-air assemblies of persons.
Suspicious that the application may have contained false information and that no police force had requested this extraordinary action on the basis of Article 44 of Royal Decree 1036/2017, an investigation was launched to identify the perpetrator of this alleged crime.
It should be noted that this article allows professional flights in situations involving a public emergency, catastrophe or disaster (in this case, under the exceptional nature of the state of emergency caused by COVID-19), provided that it is requested by the public agency that is responsible for managing said emergency situation.
Although the investigated individual filed the application with ENAIRE, the investigations carried out confirmed that the documents provided had claimed that the flight was being carried out at the request of a local police force, a claim that was ultimately proven false. Following this confirmation, the flight was denied and the individual was charged and questioned. The police's findings were then delivered to the Examining Magistrate in Girona.
The man is being investigated for the crime of falsifying documents.
ENAIRE is the company of the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda that manages air navigation in Spain. It renders aerodrome control services at 21 airports, including the busiest in terms of air traffic, plus en-route and approach control, from five control centres: Barcelona, Madrid, Gran Canaria, Palma and Seville. In addition, ENAIRE provides communications, navigation and surveillance services to 45 air control towers.
In 2019, ENAIRE handled 2.1 million flights to and from four continents (Europe, America, Asia and Africa), transporting 300 million passengers.
ENAIRE is the fourth most important European air navigation service provider, and, in a clear commitment to the Single Sky initiative, belongs to international partnerships such as SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) Joint Undertaking, SESAR Deployment Manager, A6, iTEC, CANSO (Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation) and ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization).