How to fly drones in airspace controlled by ENAIRE

If you are an RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aircraft System) operator licensed by AESA and you want to fly your aircraft in airspace where ENAIRE provides air traffic control services, these are the steps you need to follow:

1. Perform an aeronautical safety assessment, based on the SORA methodology (recommended), to analyse the risks for the type of operation (ConOps) you wish to conduct in controlled airspace.

2. Send us this assessment via the Safety Coordination Form. We will get in touch with you, via the email you have provided, so that you can coordinate your operation with ENAIRE's Safety Division, as established by Royal Decree 1036/2017, in Article 24. You can download here the Safety Studies Coordination Guide with ENAIRE.

3. Once this is done, we will send you documentary evidence so that you can request explicit authorisation from AESA for the type of operation you wish to conduct.

4. When you receive the authorisation from AESA, we will tell you to whom you should address your application, whether it is to ENAIRE or to the corresponding airport management body, in accordance with Royal Decree 1036/2017, Article 24, Section 1.

IMPORTANT: only AESA can grant you authorisation to fly in controlled airspace, regardless of who provides the air traffic control services in that airspace.

5. If you have processed all the aforementioned permits and obtained authorisation from AESA, you can request to fly your drone as many times as you need by contacting the Airspace Operations Coordination Department (known as COP in Spanish). When doing so, you should provide this remote controlled aircraft activity application form setting out all the details of the planned operation, including the date and precise location. They will then inform you of the conditions and requirements you must comply with. Instructions on how to fill in the form can be found in the following link.

IMPORTANT: Bear in mind that when the operation is within the safety distances of an aerodrome(s) in the AENA Network (Article 45 of Royal Decree 1180/2018), you must first contact the airport to coordinate the operation following the EXA80 procedure (further information in ENAIRE Drones).

6. On the day that you fly your drone:

  • Check the NOTAM in force and obtain your Pre-flight Information Bulletin (PIB)
  • Prepare the flight plan following this specific guide for RPAS operators
  • Remember to act in conformance with the indications received from the COP
  • Follow any instructions given by the air traffic controller on the radio and his indications as if you were just another airspace user
  • Lastly, close the flight plan with the corresponding ARO

Remember, drones are not toys, they are aircraft; fly safely!

Visit the AESA drones website for more information.

(NOTE: to fly in airspace which is controlled or managed by an air traffic control supplier other than ENAIRE, the procedure to follow will be that which is established by the supplier in question).