Another company, Helifilm, last year produced a whole series of programs for TVE 1, Spain’s main public TV channel, titled “Spain From The Sky Up“, full of drone footage shot above crowds running around Spain’s famous fiestas. ”We also used drones to film scenes for Ocho Apellidos Vascos“, said Ramón Canton, Helifilm’s manager, referring to a recent Spanish box office hit (titled A Spanish Affair in English) that includes spectacular landscape shots of the Spanish countryside. Canton described AESA’s ruling as ”a total halt until further notice.”

Even Spain’s regional governments are using drones. In April, the Andalusian government ran an emergency exercise for its first responders in a road tunnel (Spanish), and commissioned a local company, Camfly, to film a simulated accident using a drone.

Cromática 45 says it has had four orders cancelled since last week; Camfly has seen 15 orders disappear, “all the work until October;” and the Andalusia Film Commission has even had to stop a project for the Andalusian regional government. “Today the answer [to clients] is that it’s not possible. We’ll see about tomorrow,” says Querol.

AESA refused to say how many production companies or media outlets are being sanctioned for filming and publishing drone images. It said the new legislation is “complex, given it has to take into account technology that is still being developed.” Alberto Castaño, chairman of a commercial drone operators’ association that has started some talks with AESA, told Quartz, “They hope to have the draft bill ready before the summer, but then administratively in reality it’s not really going to be ready until next year; their own legal advisors have told them that getting the new bill officially published as law will take ‘at least a year'”.

Not quick enough, say the drone companies. “We couldn’t last more than a month without filming”, said Canton, the manager of Helifilm: “it would be impossible, we live off this activity, my partner even mortgaged his house to invest in the business”. For now, said the Cromática 45 spokesman, “we are going to continue working in areas of minimum risk.”

Matthew Bennett is a journalist based in Murcia, Spain, and editor of the Spain Report. He tweets at @matthewbennett.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.