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Air Law in Spain


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I know there has been much debate on air rules, but I am struggling to find the actual written details in Spain. All the Spanish air law is nicely on one site... http://www.enaire.es/csee/Satellite/navegacion-aerea/en/Page/1078418725153//ENR-En-route.html

However, I cannot see any mention of Paraglider or Paramotor anywhere. Does anyone know if pg/ppg has some written content somewhere?

Whilst there appears to be a relaxed approach to ppg here, the air law says NO flying closer than 500 feet to anything or person EVER, apart from landing. Even flying together is detailed under formations and separation distances are huge (for fast moving machines!).

I was prompted to think again about this after a recent flight where a police car turned up at my launch site on the beach and the two policemen got out and waved to me as I flew over. After landing I found they were just interested and wanted a chat! :) 

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Cheers Simon.

Were you referring to UK rules?

I cannot find in the Air Law for Spain dispensation for us to fly close together. In fact PG/PPG does not appear to actually be mentioned anywhere in the rules. However, I am told we are considered as a microlight. There is legislation for Heli's under special slow flight conditions (less then 140 kph|) and there are also rules for formation flying (of fast moving military aircraft).


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Yes, sorry. 

I was covering the 500ft bit you mentioned. I have copied the SERA document below which is well worth a read :-) 

SERA – all you need to know
The Standardised European Rules of the Air (commonly referred to as SERA) took effect across
Europe on 4 December 2014 and in the UK superseded most (but not all) of the UK Rules of the Air
Regulations 2007. Full details of the rule and the associated changes are contained in the CAA’s
SERA web pages at www.caa.co.uk/sera.
SERA is based on the same International standards as the UK Rules of the Air so in most respects
they are identical. However, there are a number of differences to what aviators in the UK are
accustomed to and these are summarised below.

SERA is slightly different to other European Regulations because it applies to all aircraft in European
airspace (not just 'EASA aircraft'). Also, SERA does not address all of the areas that UK Rules of the
Air historically have (for example, certain aircraft lighting requirements) and in some cases it
requires States to write their own 'enabling' measures to allow some activities to take place (for
example, VFR at night). It also allows for the retention of provisions that were already in place
before SERA took effect, as long as these comply with and supplement SERA. The result is that the
UK has retained a small number of domestic Rules of the Air and issued a number of General
Permissions and General Exemptions. These can be found through the CAA’s SERA web pages at
Key changes

Visual Meteorological conditions

SERA requires aircraft flying VFR in controlled airspace to remain 1500m horizontally and 1000ft
vertically from cloud and in a flight visibility of at least 5km at all times. The CAA is temporarily
allowing aircraft flying VFR within Class C, D and E below 3000ft AMSL by day at 140kts or less to
continue to apply the 'clear of cloud and with the surface in sight' minima as they have always done.
This temporary arrangement currently lasts until 4 August 2015, and a permanent arrangement has
yet to be finalised. The CAA will keep industry informed of progress with this.

Cruising levels

The quadrantal cruising levels system historically used in the UK does not exist in SERA. Instead, the
semi-circular cruising level system applied throughout the rest of the world is used. To aid transition
to the new system, this will now take effect in the UK on 2 April 2015.

Minimum Heights By Day

Although SERA changes the minimum height to a blanket 500ft above the surface, the CAA has used
the flexibility provided in SERA to allow aircraft in the UK to fly below 500ft provided they are 500ft
away from persons, vessels, vehicles and structures – in other words no change from the UK’s
former '500ft Rule' that people flying in the UK are used to applying. The CAA has also granted
generic permissions to allow for all the long-standing exceptions to the old rule 5 that were
contained in rule 6 – i.e. gliders hill-soaring, aircraft picking-up and dropping articles at aerodromes,
practising forced landings and flying displays/air races/contests, to continue unaffected. Otherwise
1000ft is the minimum height over cities, towns or settlements or over an open-air assembly of
persons above the highest obstacle within a radius of 600 m from the aircraft.

VFR at night

Aircraft have been able to fly under VFR at night since June 2012. SERA introduced a small number of
additional requirements for aircraft flying at night. These are:
- If the aircraft leaves the vicinity of an aerodrome a flight plan must be filed. This can either be
a ‘paper’ plan, an AFPEX plan or an abbreviated plan (‘booking out’).
- The cloud ceiling must be at least 1,500ft AMSL;
- The flight visibility must be at least 5km, or 3km for helicopters;
- When flying at 3,000ft AMSL or below, the surface must be in sight at all times; and
- The night VFR minimum height requirements are more stringent than the day requirements.
Aircraft are to be flown at least 1000ft above the highest fixed obstacle within 8km of the
aircraft, or 2000 ft when flying over high or mountainous terrain.
Special VFR (SVFR)
SERA introduced a speed limit of 140kts to aircraft flying under an SVFR clearance. The weather
minima is now:
- Remain clear of cloud and with the surface in sight
- Maintain a flight visibility of 1500m, or 800m for helicopters

Rights of way on the ground

Rules on overtaking and giving way are now less specific. Aircraft and vehicles overtaking other
aircraft and vehicles can now pass on either the left or the right.

The Right Hand Rule

The UK rule which required aircraft to be flown along the right hand side of line features ceases to
be a legal requirement. However, it is still considered to be good practice as a means avoiding
collisions with aircraft coming the other way, and so is strongly recommended.
SERA does not makes any changes to pilot licenses or their conditions and limitations. Some licences
include limitations such as visibility minima which may be greater than the minimum specified in the
Visual Flight Rules. Therefore pilots are recommended to remind themselves of the applicable
minima for their licence (you can find this on the personnel licensing pages of the CAA website).
More detailed information regarding SERA can be found on the CAA’s SERA web pages by visiting


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Thanks Simon. It would appear that all of the SERA VFR rules are already in the Spanish air law. The Spanish Paramotor body tells me that PG/PPG is largely ignored, although must still follow rules. There does not appear to anything specific as yet for PG/PPG and hence we are told to look under MIcrolight. 

Key requirements, must have insurance and must have permission form land owner. I have been told that like in the UK, you must ask the land owner's permission. If you are found flying without permission then there is a fine of Euro 6000. The only example of this I have is one of the Paramotor schools got fined flying off the beach! The beach is owned by the State and you have to apply for permission to fly off them and of course it involves some money. I suspect that a Paramotor school flying off the beach, draws much more attention to itself than just a leisure pilot or 2 flying at random times and different beaches....so we are still likely to be ignored. However, I am going to find out about the beach permission and see what is involved in getting it. 


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I have had a chat with the Spanish equivalent of the CAA (ENAIRE). There is a separate Royal Decree that defines Ultra-lightweight flying machines and us. Link here (in Spanish!)...


Having recently been told by a large Spanish Paramotor school that we are considered as MIcro-lights, I find Article 1 immediately says we are not!

Article 1 Non-motorized aerodynamics (gliders), aerostats, or motorized or non-motorized aircraft, are not considered ultra-light for the direct take-off or landing of any occupant, Such as delta wings, motorized parachutes, aerostats with motorized nacelles, as well as any other ingenuity that needs such an effort to take off or land.

Love the last part of that sentence. If it is difficult to get off the ground it is exempted. :)


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