• How to apply for AESA drone pilot licence conversion

    We guide you through the process with a step-by-step tutorial.

If you obtained your Drone Licence regulated by the old national legislation (Ley 18/2014 or RD 1036/2017), you can now convert this Pilot qualification to adapt it to the current European Regulations.

You’ll know that on 31 December 2020 a new ruling framework was applied to regulate UAS operations based on their level of risk.

You can read all you need to know about it here on our post New European Drones ruling which if you haven’t read already, we would recommend you do so before reading this.

Validate your drone pilot qualification obtained before the RE 2019/947

The validation process for Drone/UAS Pilot qualifications is simple. You only need to log on to the AESA online office and complete the details they request during the process and provide the documentation they request to prove your knowledge.

The documents will be reviewed manually by AESA and if all is in order you’ll be provided with a bridging course to adapt your knowledge to the new Ruling.

If you’d like to know the steps you need to take to validate your Drone Pilot qualification, everything you need to know will be set out below.

Deadline for submission of applications

The procedure to validate your certificate will be available until 1 January 2022. Also, remember that once you receive the email with the bridging course, you’ll have 30 days to complete it.

What do you need to submit your application?

Before starting the process to validate your old drone license, you should prepare the following:

  • DNIe or digital certificate: it’s imperative you have this up to date to complete your application. Even though you are able to identify with [email protected], if you don’t have an electronic DNI (or NIE) or digital certificate you cannot sign and finalise the process.
  • Theoretical and practical certificates scanned on both sides: don’t forget the back of each certificate. Scan each document on both sides and have them prepared to attach.

Which pilots need to validate their drones certificate?

All who have obtained their license earlier than 31 December 2020, any Drone Pilot qualification obtained before the ruling RE 2019/947 was enforced will need to be converted.

If you have any of the following, you will need to convert:

  • Theoretical and/or practical certificate as per Law 18/2014.
  • RPAS theoretical and/or practical certificate as per RD 1036/2019.
  • In accordance with art. 34 of the RD 1036/2019, some of the following means to justify theoretical knowledge (to also be presented along with a practical RPAS Pilot certificate):
    • Pilot license, valid or not (including ULM license).
    • Military or Guardia Civil Pilot license.
    • Certificate of successfully passing the theoretical knowledge to obtain the EASA pilot license (For ULM pilots a skills certificate issued by AESA will be required.)

Of course, all qualifications and licenses which have been revoked or suspended by the competent Authority are excluded from the right to validate.

Certificate validation layout

Which type of drone can you fly once you validated your qualifications with the new Ruling?

To follow we will set out the validation layout, and once you check which certificate you wish to obtain, we recommend you read our post about the new EASA drone Regulations where we explain the categories in detail.

Theoretical certificates

Theoretical certificates, from basic to advanced and which were issued in accordance with the Law 18/2014 or RD 1036/2017, will be validated to the followings:

  • UAS in Open Category, subcategories A1/A3.
  • UAS in Open Category, subcategory A2.

In addition, according to AESA’s website, the applicant must declare that he/she has received practical proficiency through A2 self-practical training.

Theoretical-practical certificates

This category includes theoretical certificates, basic to advanced, along with practical certificates issued under the Law 18/2014, and also the theoretical proof as per art. 34 of the RD 1036/2017. These certificates will be converted to the following:

  • UAS in Open Category, subcategories A1/A3.
  • UAS in Open Category, subcategory A2.
  • Theoretical Certificate Specific Category STS
  • Practical certificates STS-01 and STS-02.

Likewise, the declaration of practical competences through A2 self-practical training will be required.

Steps to apply for the validation of your drone licence

  1. Log on to AESA online office. You can connect directly on the following button.


  2. To start the process of validation, press the option ‘NUEVA SOLICITUD’.
  3. Identify yourself with your NIEe o Digital Certificate and the process will commence.
  4. On the following screen, a temporary line appear to show you the process and in which stage you are:
    Datos > Documentación > RGPD > Firmar y Registrar.
  5. Datos del solicitante (Applicant details): Complete with your personal details. If you’re acting as the applicant’s legal representative, choose that option which drops down another form to complete. When finished, press ‘SIGUIENTE’.
  6. Documentación incorporada (documents to be attached): Here you’ll upload the documents applicable to your specific case.
    1. If acting as representative you must upload the official document to prove this.
    2. All the practical certificates you have. Optional.
    3. Theoretical certificates or equivalent justification. Obligatory in order to continue the process. Both sides of the document must to be attached for each certificate you wish to validate.
    4. Any other relevant document.
  7. Cláusula RGPD (GPDR clause): Give consent of the use of your data to continue the validation process of your drone certificate. You should also select whether or not you consent to receiving future notifications.
  8. Firmar y registrar (sign and register): In this final stage, a draft will be generated with all the details provided. Check all is correct and that your contact email is correct as you’ll receive the bridging course link there. Review the documents have all uploaded correctly. Press ‘PRESENTAR SOLICITUD’ to sign electronically.
  9. Select the signature process (Autofirma or Clave Firma) and complete your drone licence validation.
  10. Check all is in order and download your receipt of application. Press ‘FINALIZAR’.

Application resolution of the drone certificate validation

Once your application has been presented to validate your existing license to the new Ruling, you can check the progress by accessing the ‘Mis solicitudes’ page on the AESA webpage.

If all is in order you’ll receive a confirmation email from AESA with your username and password to access the online training platform. This is where you will carry out the corresponding bridging course whether you are validating a theoretical or a theoretical-practical license.

You have 30 days from the date you receive the email to complete the course in its entirety. Should you not complete the course the process will be cancelled and you will need to start the process all over again.

Positive resolution

Once you’ve completed the bridging course assigned to you, without needing a final evaluation you’ll receive an email from AESA confirming a positive resolution of your application to validate your license. You’ll also find attached your newly issued certificates adapted to the new European UAS Ruling.

Correction request

Should the application be submitted incomplete or if it contains an error, you’ll receive a request to correct the points they will state. You’ll also receive a link where you can provide the documentation requested to correct your drone license application.

Negative resolution

If the provided documentation isn’t correct or doesn’t fulfil the basic requirements as stated on the AESA website, you’ll be notified of a negative resolution of your application, denying you the access to validate your old drone license.