Spanish air navigation service provider ENAIRE reports a 50% increase in demand for drone operations since the agency launched Planea, a platform designed to make it easier to and coordinate operations with drones, manned aircraft and other airspace uses. The number of registered users now stands at 8,700 according to the ENAIRE press release.
Activity in the drone sector has been growing exponentially in recent years in Spain. In 2021, more than 4,000 new users registered on ENAIRE Planea. 70% of professional drone flight requests came through this page, a figure that rose to 86% in December 2021. In 2021, the page was visited on average 6,400 times a month.
Of all the applications received at ENAIRE Planea, 94% were for remotely piloted aircraft (UAS), 4% for manned aircraft and 2% for other airspace uses.
As part of the Digitisation Plan to manage aeronautical information, which is included in ENAIRE’s Strategic Plan (the 2025 Flight Plan), ENAIRE Planea is integrated with other tools from ENAIRE’s aeronautical information service, such as ENAIRE Drones (drones.enaire.es) and Insignia (insignia.enaire.es), which provide information on airspace classes, restricted areas, NOTAMs and other useful features for drone and general aviation pilots and airspace users.
In addition, in 2021 ENAIRE coordinated 6,101 operations involving remotely piloted aircraft. This is the sum of all flight operations in controlled airspace and flights beyond visual range, called BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight), in uncontrolled areas, not including model aeroplane activities. If we take controlled airspace operations into account, the number of operations coordinated was 5,426. This is an increase of 370% compared to 2020, when 1,646 operations were managed. It should be noted that Spain was in a state of alarm during much of 2020, and that ENAIRE reinforced the staffing dedicated to processing the requests received so as to swiftly respond to the large increase in the number of operations requested.
The planea.enaire.es website allows professional drone operators to submit their aeronautical safety study (EAS/AERO) so their request can be processed by the Operations Management units and the towers and air control centres involved in the operation. ENAIRE continues to support the growth of the drone sector. Catalonia is the region where the most requests were processed, with 1,365, followed by Madrid with 1,109 and the Canary Islands in third place with 793.
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