Filming from drones, helicopters or similar are regulated by Civil Aviation regulations, and the production company must have the corresponding authorization in order to do so. The company in charge of regulating and controlling the safety of civil aviation in Spain is the Aviation Safety and Security Agency (AESA).
To film aerial images by aircraft, it is essential to hire a company and a pilot certified by AESA. It is the company’s responsibility to make the necessary arrangements to authorize the flight and to ensure its smooth running.
Filming with helicopter and aircraft
Helicopter and aeroplane aerial photography flights are considered specialized commercial operations. There are minimum altitudes that all flights must respect and which may condition the aerial shots to be filmed.
On the AESA website on aerial work activity you can find more information on regulations, operator licensing and other relevant issues in relation to this type of activity.
It is recommended to bear in mind that aerial filming in Castilla y León is restricted to a specific flight area, so it is advisable to request all relevant information from AESA before choosing a location and deciding on the characteristics and route of the flight to be carried out. In the application ENAIRE Insignia application you can see the areas in which there are flight restrictions.
Filming with drones
As with other aircraft, there is a legal framework that regulates their activity and allows for the safe development of the remotely piloted aircraft sector, i.e drones or RPAS.
From 31 December 2020, the European UAS/drones regulation will apply. This rule affects all drones regardless of their purpose (recreational or professional) or size/weight. On AESA’s website on drones you can find information on national and EU regulations. Given this regulation, it is essential to have a certified company and pilot, responsible for processing the necessary authorizations and for flying in urban areas, as well as mandatory civil liability insurance, in order to take images with remotely piloted aircraft. You can check the minimum requirements to fly any drone here.
Activity in areas where there are clusters of buildings, such as the main towns in Castilla y León, will require specific authorization from AESA based on a specific aeronautical safety study.
Authorization from the Ministry of the Interior
The procedure to obtain authorization to fly remotely piloted aircraft is done through the Ministry of the Interior’s website.
Irrespective of these air authorizations, you must inform the local administrations of the activity to be carried out, considering that take-off and landing will be made from the ground.
There are some restrictions on flying aircraft near military sites or airports. In the ENAIRE drones application, you can see the areas in which there are prohibitions or restrictions on drone flights, as well as dangerous areas and other warnings.
Restrictions and administrative requirements in Castilla y León
Generally, according to the provisions of Law 42/2007 of 13 December 2007 on Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, drone flights are not prohibited in the region of Castilla y León, nor do they require authorization from the Directorate-General for Natural Heritage and Forest Policy, provided that the flights do not intentionally disturb the animal species present in the area (i.e. the animals are not being chased or the drone is not approaching nests or shelters). In this case, authorization is required, provided that the purpose of the disturbance is justifiable (research, dissemination, etc.; Article 54 of Law 42/2007 of 13 December 2007).
Specific requirements and restrictions can be found on the Regional Government of Castilla y León’s Environment page.