Latest Drone Laws in Tenerife

Tenerife is a Canary Islands in Spain. Therefore, the latest drone laws in Tenerife are similar to those of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), as Spain is an EU member. 

Also, Tenerife has some country-specified rules regulating drones within Spain.

The present drone regulations in Tenerife require registering your drone for your operation type, getting a drone pilot license, and obtaining a remote ID (except in classes C0 and C4 without a remote ID).

Insurance coverage is only compulsory for commercial operators, but the authority recommends it for hobbyists and visitors. 

The Spanish Aviation Safety and Security Agency, Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aérea (AESA), is the Tenerife drone regulatory agency. 

Let’s get deeper into understanding the legal situation for Tenerife drone operations.

Keep reading.

What Are the Latest Drone Laws in Tenerife?

According to AESA, current drone laws in Tenerife under EASA classify drone operations into Open, Specific, and Certified categories.

The potential risk level of drone operations determines the Category.

Regardless of your operational type (recreational, commercial, government, or visitor), you must identify your Category and observe the relevant rules.

Even so, we have general rules that cut across all the categories.

What Are the General Drone Laws in Tenerife?

The general laws regulating drone operations in Tenerife are as follows:

  • Fly your drone at least 8km (5 miles) away from the airports in controlled airspaces and 15km (9.3 miles) on approved beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights.

  • Maintain the visual line of sight (VLOS) throughout your flights. During the first-person view (FPV) flights, have a visual observer monitor the drone and contact you directly.

  • You can only fly your drone during the day. However, you can fly drones weighing less than 2kg (4.4 pounds) at night but must maintain the 50-metre altitude cap.

  • A fireproof identification plate is mandatory on the drone and its remote controller. It should include your name, address, phone number, and serial number.

  • Keep a distance of 150m (492 feet) from buildings and at least 50m (164 feet) from uninvolved people.

  • You should only fly your drone over people and urban areas if it weighs less than 250g and maintains a maximum altitude of 20m (65 feet).

  • To use your drone in no-fly zones, you must obtain prior approval from the Spanish Ministry of Defense, which takes about a week.

  • Do local research before flying your drone to find out the existing regional regulations.

  • Don’t fly your drone in national parks without the AESA’s permission.

  • Don’t exceed the 120-meter (394-foot) maximum altitude cap.

  • You must have commercial drone pilot liability insurance. 

  • You must have a commercial drone flight permit.

What Are the Category-Based Drone Laws in Tenerife?

As mentioned above, three operational categories determine Terenife’s drone rules under the new regulations.

The drone weight and intended operation differentiate the Category laws, which include the following:

  • Open Category laws
  • Specified Category laws
  • Certified Category laws

Read on.

Open Category Drone Laws

You may operate your drone in the open category if:

  • You won’t operate it directly over people unless it weighs less than 250g (55 lbs) or has a class identification label.

  • You’ll maintain a visual line of sight or get help from an unmanned aircraft observer.

  • You purchased it before January 1, 2023, without class identification labels 1, 2, 3, or 4.

  • The drone won’t carry dangerous items or drop materials during flights.

  • You’ll observe the 120m (400ft) maximum altitude requirement.

  • Its maximum takeoff weight is below 25kg (55 lbs).

  • It has class identification labels 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4. 

  • You fly at a safe distance from people.

The Open Category has three subdivisions, including the following:

  • A1: Flights over a few people but not crowds
  • A2: Flights near people
  • A3: Flights far away from people

The above rules are standard in all Open Category ‘subcategories.’ However, there are regulations specific to each of them, as follows.

Open A1 Category

You may operate your drone in the Open A1 Category if:

  • Its class identification label is C0, and its maximum takeoff weight is less than 250 g (0.55 lbs).

  • Its class identification label is C1, and its maximum takeoff weight is less than 900 g (1.98 lbs).

  • You won’t fly your drone over crowds or in no-fly zones.

  • It has a class identification label with a 0 or 1 mark.

  • You won’t exceed the 19 m/s (42 mph).

  • It’s C1-marked and EASA-registered.

Open A2 Category

You may operate your drone in the Open A2 Category if:

  • You have an EASA registration and are at least 16 years old.

  • The maximum takeoff weight of your C2-labeled drone is 4kg (8.81 lbs).

  • You’ll maintain a 30 m (98 ft) horizontal distance from uninvolved people.

  • You won’t operate it over crowds or in prohibited areas.

  • It has class identification label 2.

Open A3 Category

You may operate your drone in the Open A3 Category if:

  • Its class registration label is 3 or 4.

  • You’re EASA-registered and at least 16 years old.

  • You’ll observe the 4kg (8.81 lbs) maximum takeoff weight requirement.

  • You’ll keep a safe distance from people and 150 m between your flying drone area and urban areas.

Specified Category Laws

The Category regulates drone flights with a higher risk level than its ‘Open’ counterpart.

It’s a flexible Category that accommodates diverse commercial and recreational drone activities only after the authority approves.

Therefore, you must present satisfactory mitigation measures during the risk assessment to obtain approval for your drone operations.

Additionally, you must effectively communicate to the authorities about the safety and legality of your flights. 

You may operate your drone in the Special Category if:

  • Your operation isn’t under a Standard Scenario but has AESA approval after conducting a predetermined risk assessment (PDRA).

  • You declare to AESA that your operation is under a Standard scenario.

  • You’ll conduct flights as per EASA or AESA Standard Scenario.

  • You have a Light UAS Operator when conducting your flights.

Certified Category Laws

Due to the high risks of this Category’s operations, you must have certification and a pilot license. It covers large-sized drones.

You may operate your drone in the Certified Category if you meet the following conditions:

  • Transporting dangerous goods that are potentially risky in case of an accident.

  • Flying over a massive number of people.

  • Engagement in human transportation.

The Article 11-provided risk assessment determines the Certified Category operations. It considers that adequate mitigation measures must include:

  • Drone certification
  • Operator certification
  • Remote pilot licensing (where applicable) 

Special Travel Considerations for Visitors

Here are special notes to foreigners who wish to travel to Tererenife with their drones:

Open Category

Under this Category, you must:

  • Register your drone with AESA if you haven’t registered with another EU country. 

  • Display your registration number with a sticker on all your drones and upload a copy to your drone’s ‘Remote Identification System.’

  • Comply with the latest drone laws in Tenerife.

  • Know and keep off the no-fly zones.

Note: Your registration is acceptable to all EASA states.

Special Category

Under this Category, you must:

  • Submit a declaration for a standard scenario or,
  • Apply to AEAS for operational authorization.

Conclusion

The latest drone laws in Tenerife are those in Spain, which operate under the ‘umbrella’ European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The country’s National Aviation Authority, AESA, regulates drone operations.

According to AESA, the laws require you to register your drone, obtain a remote pilot license, and acquire a remote ID (except in some cases).

Only commercial drone operators must have compulsory insurance coverage, but the authority recommends it for all pilots.

Identify your Category and subcategory (for the Open Category) and the relevant laws for flying your drone safely and legally.

Our article comprehensively covers Tenerife’s drone regulatory framework. If you need clarification on particular cases, contact AESA here.

Author
Peter Karanja

Peter is a licensed drone pilot and drone fanatic. He owns a DJI Air 2S that he uses to shoot videos for fun, enjoyment and for clients.

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