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European Space Agency To Test Drones In Barcelona

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Barcelona Drone Center - Testing Drones

So you got your brand new Mavic Pro and found new scientific uses for it. Maybe you’re into something bigger such as the Penguin B UAV and need go through some tests. Or maybe you just built an incredible DIY flying fortress that needs to be flown in a controlled environment. Here’s an interesting place to look at.

Last week the regional authorities of Catalonia (Spain), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the CEO of the Barcelona Drone Center, signed an agreement that will turn this space into the operational base for all the drone companies incubated by the ESA.

In other words, any startup or company that has the interest and validation of the Europe’s equivalent of NASA will be able to use those facilities for aerial unmanned operations, tests and research.

This is a big step for many small companies developing interesting drone technologies, since they will have a dedicated UAV test site guaranteeing all the necessary technical and safety conditions. In such way, it will be easier and faster to jump from disruptive ideas to actual businesses.

Drone BCN Center
The BCN Drone center

Why UAV Test Sites?

There is an obvious drawback in the world of unmanned aviation: regulation. Such technologies with still unknown possibilities usually raise safety and privacy concerns among citizens, and that’s why it is a very restricted activity. In Europe, someone noticed that years ago.

CATUAV, one of the earliest drone companies in Spain specialized in fixed-wing unmanned operations, built the BCN Drone Center back in 2013. It consists of an obstacle free airfield with 2500 ha of segregated airspace only intended for drone flights. This means you don’t even need a permission from the regulatory authority in order to fly. Last November they hosted the first Grand Prix drone racing event ever broadcasted on TV in Spain.

drone bcn center

The BCN Drone Center is located close to Barcelona (Moià) and it is one of the 10 civilian drone test sites (6 of them in the US, check them here) existing today around the world. It’s the biggest place to test and fly drones in southern Europe and is open to all companies, universities, and interested individuals.

Thanks for reading!

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