On the Mediterranean Sea in Spain, you’ll find one of the most world-renowned travel destinations, Ibiza.
Between the pumping nightlife, yoga retreats, and gorgeous beaches, there’s something for everyone here. You’d love to take your drone for a spin in Ibiza, but is it legal here?
Can you fly a drone in Ibiza?
You can fly a drone in parts of Ibiza, excluding natural areas and parks, specific beaches like Cala Bassa Beach and Cala Llonga Beach, and standard restricted areas such as military airspace.
Before planning your getaway to Ibiza, make sure you read today’s article.
We’ll fill you in on everything you need to know to use a drone here, including relevant drone laws, so don’t miss it!
To help, we’ve identified and reviewed the best drone courses for beginners and professionals.
Can you fly a drone in Ibiza? All the restricted airspace
In Spain, the Agencia Estatal de Seguridad Aerea (AESA), also referred to by some as the State Agency of Air Security oversees aviation in Spain.
According to AESA, you can use a drone in Ibiza, but perhaps not as freely as you had hoped.
Without further ado, let’s review the restricted areas throughout this Spanish island so you can plan your drone flights accordingly.
Protected areas and natural parks
Unsurprisingly, you can’t operate your drone in a protected area or a natural park. These conversation areas strive to protect ecological and natural lands across the island.
The two places to specifically avoid are Reserva Natural de Cala d’Hort and Parc Natural de Ses Salines, according to Ibiza Preservation.
These protected areas also go by Cala d’Hort Natural Reserve and the Ses Salines Natural Wildlife Reserve.
The Cala d’Hort Natural Reserve on Es Vedra Island includes Illots de Ponent and Es Vedranell. The reserve comprises a series of tiny islands that grow endemic plants that birds in the area rely heavily on.
Endangered and rare animal species also live here or in the vicinity, such as the bottlenose dolphin, loggerhead turtle, Eleonora’s falcon, peregrine falcon, and Audouin’s gull.
Additionally, the fauna and ecosystems that thrive here support these endangered animals.
Ses Salines Natural Wildlife Reserve is split between Formentera and Ibiza islands and includes a series of salt flats, coastal lagoons, wetlands, woodlands, and beaches with established dunes.
On the reserve, juniper trees grow, but far more than that. More than a dozen endemic plants also grow natively here, including eight vulnerable and seven rare species.
Over 200 bird species also fly throughout the area, not to mention 56 invertebrate species reside here, five of which are native to the area.
No country opens up its military airbases to drone pilots, including Spain. Any airspace that belongs to the military and its manned aircraft is strictly off-limits.
Further, you can’t fly your drone over specific beaches in Ibiza. These spaces include Cala Bassa Beach, Cala Llonga Beach, and Marina Botafoch Port.
All courses offered by Pilot Institute are taught by remote pilots, flight instructors, FAA commercial pilots, and other certified professionals.
What happens if you use a drone illegally in Ibiza?
Ibiza has a rich cultural heritage and many beloved natural areas the government wishes to protect.
If you’re caught flying in a non-designated area, you could face of fine of 50,000 euros or approximately $54,323 USD. That’s quite a hefty fine!
Use a drone mapping app to confirm warning areas and restricted airspace.
When you visit an area, if you’re not sure if you can use your drone, look for signs or contact an authority figure and ask.
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Ibiza drone flight rules to follow
For the rest of this article, we’ll go over the drone flight rules for Ibiza and greater Spain so that when you find a permitted area to fly, you can stay on the right side of the law!
You’ll probably need a certificate
As of 2021, Security Forces and Corps or FCS still primarily carry official drone pilot licenses, but recreational and commercial pilots likely need a certificate too.
By the way, in Spain, there’s no delineation between hobbyists and commercial pilots, so what one needs, the other does too.
You only have to obtain a certificate if your drone exceeds 250 grams. You’ll have to pass a knowledge test that will let you fly at AESA Level 1 or Level 2.
In circumstances that require you to operate a drone at Level 3, you’ll have to take a specialized exam through AESA to earn those flight permissions.
Your drone must meet the European Union’s Open categorization
AESA works with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, which means that drones entering the country of Spain must meet the Open category specifications.
Here’s the criteria:
- Your drone must operate no higher than 400 feet
- Your drone will not fly over other people if it weighs more than 250 grams or doesn’t have a class identification label
- Your drone will not take off if it weighs more than 25 kilograms
- Your drone must have a class identification label between 0 and 4
- You will not use your drone for transporting dangerous materials
- You will keep your drone in your visual line of sight unless you have an observer
- You bought the drone before January 1st, 2023
You have to register certified drones
You took the time to earn your drone certification, now get your UAV sky-ready by registering it through AESA. You must do this for every drone you fly except for toy drones under 250 grams.
The registration terms apply throughout the European Union and will last for five years.
When you register your drone, you’ll receive a fireproof label or plate. Connect this to your drone’s housing.
The plate has unique identifying information like your name and contact details, the drone serial number, the model, the drone type, and the manufacturer.
Avoid flying over people
AESA allows drones weighing under 250 grams and operating under 20 meters to fly over people, including in urban areas.
You can also fly close to people participating in your drone flight. Even still, Ibizans could complain, so it’s best to take higher to the skies and avoid crowds.
For heavier drones or crowds not directly participating in your drone flight, you must stay 50 meters or 164 feet from them.
Limit your distance to buildings
To protect its buildings, AESA prohibits drones from flying any closer than 150 meters or 492 feet.
Don’t operate close to airports
You’ll find through your drone mapping app that airports, heliports, and aerodromes throughout Spain restrict pilots.
To avoid potentially earning yourself a fine or worse, maintain a reasonable distance of eight kilometers or approximately five miles from any airport, even if you’re using your drone in uncontrolled airspace.
If you’re on an approved BLVOS drone flight, you must stay even further away, 15 kilometers or 9.3 feet.
Do not use your drone after dark in most circumstances
Ibiza comes alive at night, and while you’re free to enjoy it to the fullest, you’ll have to leave your drone back in your hotel room, at least in most cases.
If your drone weighs under two kilograms or 4.4 pounds at takeoff, you can fly it at 50 meters or 164 feet high at night.
For any drone weighing more than that, you’re limited to flying between the hours of sunrise and sunset only.
Don’t fly higher than 120 meters
The altitude limit in Spain is 120 meters or 394 feet over ground level. At no point should your drone enter higher airspace than that.
Commercial pilots need liability insurance
AESA also requires commercial pilots to carry liability insurance to protect themselves and the country from costly fines and damages if their drone runs amok.
The usual amount of insurance coverage you have should suffice but contact AESA for more information if needed.
You don’t have to just imagine flying your drone in beautiful Ibiza when you can go out and do it! Many areas throughout Ibiza restrict drone usage, but just as many allow you to explore the natural beauty and resplendent wonders this island has to offer.
We hope you’ll plan a trip soon!
When you take the test, you’re protected under the Drone Pro Academy’s pass guarantee. If you fail your Part 107 test the first time, the academy will give you $160 to put towards retesting!
1. Ibiza Preservation (link)