How to fly drones in situations involving significant risks, catastrophes or public calamities?

Unidad Militar de Emergencias, Spain

Royal Decree 1036/2017 establishes in Article 44 that in the event of situations involving serious risks, catastrophes or public calamities, and if requested to do so by the public authority responsible for managing such situations, licensed Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) operators may conduct flights that do not comply with the conditions and limitations of this Royal Decree. In the event of an RPAS flight being conducted in a flight information zone or within protection areas covered by Article 23 ter.3, letter b) of Royal Decree 552/2014 of 27 June, the pilot must coordinate with the correspondinges air navigation service provider beforehand.

If this provider is ENAIRE, the following procedure should be followed:

1. The drone operator who has been contacted by the public authority responsible for managing the situation in question, or the authority in command, must get in contact with ENAIRE's SYSRED H24 centre to find out the reason for the activity and to provide the information which allows the necessary arrangements to be made.

Details required:

  • Date of communication
  • Time of communication
  • Date of the operation
  • Time of the operation (beginning and end)
  • Name of the operator and telephone number
  • Public authority responsible for the emergency and telephone number
  • Coordinates of the operation's location, delimited by a polygon or similar area
  • Type of flight (VLOS, BVLOS, EVLOS)
  • Type and number of the RPAS/drone to be used
  • Maximum speed of the operation
  • Weight of the RPAS
  • Maximum altitude of the RPAS
  • Navigation or detection systems which the RPAS is equipped with

Contact details

1. SYSRED H24: 667 19 88 80 916 785 364 -

2. SYSRED H24 will inform the tower, ENAIRE air traffic control centre and airport manager involved. SYSRED H24 will inform all the interested parties of the measures necessary to minimise the impact of the operation on all other air traffic during the flight of the RPAS. It may be a requirement to announce various pieces of information over the radio monitoring frequency, including the beginning and end of the RPAS operation, requesting to post a NOTAM aeronautic notification, restrictions on the flight's altitude, schedule restrictions, etc.

3. The RPAS operator will conduct the drone flight in coordination with the corresponding air traffic control branch, complying with the conditions and measures established in 2nd step of this procedure.

Visit the AESA drones website for more information.