Manuel Oñate (52) is a Civil Engineer graduated from the Universidad Politécnica of Madrid in Spain. He has over 14 years of experience in Private Equity, working for funds managed by first rate international investment firms such as TCR (New York) and N M Rothschild & Sons (London). Since 1999 he is the owner and CEO of Mandor Consultoría, an independent corporate finance and strategic consultant firm participating in several early stage or business development projects in various sectors, usually involving highly technological products. Involved on RPAS since 2010, he was Business Development Manager of Unmanned Solutions, a Spanish RPAS manufacturer and founded the Spanish RPAS Trade Association, AERPAS. He was Co-Secretary and Chairman of EUROCAE WG-93 on Light RPAS. Currently he is the General Manager of EuroUSC España, with responsability for Spain, Portugal and Latin America.
Since the introduction in mid-2014 of a «temporary» regulation for RPAS operations in Spain, over 1,500 operators have been registered by the Spanish National Aviation Authority, placing Spain as one of the most active markets in Europe. Two and a half years after the introduction of the regulation, the Spanish Government is planning to pass another regulation which will considerably increase the operational scenarios allowed. Spain is trying to leverage its many advantages, such as an uncongested airspace, weather conditions and a good level of technology provided by various research centres which are very active in the RPAS market to create a thriving sector, but so far there has been a lack of investment to support ambitious projects. As the economic situation improves and some of the early stage ventures start to prove a solid business case, it is expected that some early winners will start to emerge in the short term.