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Wednesday, 09 August 2017 12:36

Is it legal to record images with drones?

All citizens have the right to privacy. It should be remembered that even the law enforcement agencies, if they do not have a court order in their hands, can carry out surveillance or recordings of people in public spaces, much less in private spaces. This would be a violation of the right to personal privacy.

The person responsible for recording images that can be made using drones is the pilot who controls the device. Even more serious than the recording is the following diffusion of the images obtained with the dron. A crime punishable by imprisonment between one and three years may be incurred.

Taking advantage of the legal vacuum

Although the drones are sold in many stores as if they were children's toys, the danger of the drones is being demonstrated. In many Spanish communities there is no specific regulation on the use of drones. Little by little, EASA, the Spanish State Air Safety Agency, which regulates Spanish airspace, is developing regulations to clarify the apparent legal void.

The recording of videos is allowed, but it is not to benefit economically from it or invade the privacy of other people.

Drone pilot licenses

According to the little regulation that is on the matter, it is not essential to have a pilot license of drones, to be able to handle them. It will only be necessary to have that license, if it is intended to carry out a work or scientific activity that is remunerated, the recording of videos with a commercial purpose or transporting goods.

Remember that the fact that no license is required to use the drones as a hobby or for recreational flights does not mean that there is no need to comply with safety regulations. In general, to obtain an economic benefit to the recordings, it is necessary to have express authorization of the AESA.

Currently, fines for not using drones properly, can reach penalties of an amount of 225,000 euros.

AESA Guidelines for the Use of drones

  • The dron always has to be in sight of who uses it.
  • Although it is not necessary to be an accredited pilot of drones, it is necessary to know how to use them safely.
  • According to the current rules of the AESA, the drones' flight will not exceed 120 meters of altitude.
  • Drones will be used in authorized zones. This is the case of the unpopulated field or areas, flying zones enabled for aeromodelling, etc.
  • It is fixed that the damage caused by the dron will be the responsibility of the person who handles it.

What we can not do with a dron

  • Drones are not allowed to fly during night time, due to the lack of visibility.
  • The dron can not fly in urban areas or where there is agglorameration of people, for whatever reason
  • It is prohibited for the dron to fly near restricted air zones, such as airports, aerodromes, heliports, planned paragliding areas, or in general where other low temperature aircraft fly.
  • As a general rule, it is not allowed to endanger others.

License for drones

In order to use drones for commercial or professional tasks, it is necessary to obtain a certificate that accredits a course of about 60 hours. It is mandatory to be 18 years old and attach a medical certificate.

Writings SF Lawyers