UAS R&D Project Wins Environmental Approval in Spain

Spanish regulators gave initial approval to build a research and development center for unmanned aircraft in state-owned forest land. The project, sponsored by the Defense Ministry’s National Institute for Aerospace Technology, won environmental clearance and will advance toward final approvals, according to a decision published last week by the Spanish government.

Spain’s planned Centre of Excellence for Unmanned Systems for “high performance” testing of UAS and training personnel should help the country toward greater use of a technology that’s increasingly employed for tasks as varied as weather reporting and fire-fighting to border surveillance.

The installations are planned next to the Doñana nature reserve in southern Huelva province, on the Atlantic coast. The environmental study said it set conditions so the project wouldn’t unduly risk animal and plant life. A special protection zone for birds won’t be affected because it’s about 500 meters (1,640 feet) away, according to the report.

“To be able to locate the centre in woods belonging to the public, a process was undertaken to declare scientific use as prevailing over forest use,” the environment ministry wrote in the finding.

Source: Bloomberg Business Week

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