Our thanks to reader Jasper, who is a drone pilot, and who updated us at each step when he recently applied to fly his drone on the island.  Here’s the lowdown on flying drones in Lanzarote.

Read on for more, but here’s the bottom line: Even if flying for no commercial reason, the laws are quite strict here, there are very few places you can fly, and it probably isn’t worth bringing your drone. If you’re flying for commercial photography, you absolutely must get permission in writing beforehand.

Let’s start with the Spanish rules which apply to flying drones in Lanzarote:

The Spanish RPAS regulation (RD 1036/2017) states the following rules for recreational use of RPAS in SPAIN:

– Outside agglomerations of buildings and people.

– By day and visual weather conditions.

– Within the visual range of the pilot (VLOS) and at no more than 120 m in height.

– Maintaining a suitable distance to obstacles and giving priority to other aircraft.

– In uncontrolled airspace at a minimum distance of 8 km from the reference point of any airport or aerodrome. Except for those operations carried out from infrastructures destined to RPAS, under the conditions established in the coordination procedures agreed by the responsible of said infrastructures with the air traffic services provider.

– At night with airplanes of less than 2kg of MTOM at a maximum height above ground of 50m.

– When using first-person vision devices (FPV), the operation must be performed within the visual range (VLOS), by observers who remain in permanent contact with the pilot without the help of these devices.

The distributions of images of people or private spaces, need authorization of them and that must comply with the Law of Data Protection, the Right to Honor, Privacy and own image and the restrictions of taking aerial images.

Any picture that you may take during recreational flight cannot be transferred for commercial or professional use.

Please ask local Authorities prior to fly. Other restrictions may apply, for example in some special areas like Natural Parks and Biosphere Reserves.

You are responsible for the operation of your RPAS. We do recommend to get, at least, a third-party insurance to cover the risks associated to the operation of your RPAS.

Please contact your airline carrier too in order to check the special conditions for transport of LIPO batteries.

Letter of approval is not needed for recreational purposes (hobby).

That’s not too bad, but where it gets complicated in Lanzarote is that we are a small island, and much of the island is protected (Timanfaya,) has military installations (above Haria) or is on the airport flight path.

Have a look at this map, reproduced from icarusrpa.info

Drones Lanzarote

The blue area is protected as it is national park, the green area because there are military installations and the yellow area because it’s on the flight path.

And there’s there are the no fly areas due to the “nature 2000” rules, which require permission.

That basically leaves you to fly drones in Lanzarote safely over a fairly small part of Playa Blanca.

Did you know Concorde had been to Lanzarote?

Image by Clément Bucco-Lechat (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons