ETSIAESchoolHistorical Review

Historical Review

The School of Aeronautical and Space Engineering (Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingeniería Aeronáutica y del Espacio, ETSIAE) arise from the challenge to be adapted to the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). We cannot speak about a new school because it emerged from the merger of the two Schools of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) that have, during more than 150 years, trained aeronautical engineers and aeronautical technical engineers: Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Aeronáuticos (ETSIA) and Escuela Universitaria de Ingeniería Técnica Aeronáutica (EUITA).

During the twentieth century, studying the different engineering specialities within the aeronautical field involved going through the classrooms of the UPM, since ETSIA and EUITA were the only institutions offering these degrees throughout Spain. Those who today are well renowned high professionals in the aerospace sector studied here.

The ETSIAE follows the path of its predecessor schools in relation to the higher education and their accumulated experience. Tradition, prestige and know-how are distinguishing features that are maintained during this new era. Talent, vocation, versatility and effort are qualities still maintained in our graduates. In a nut shell, the specialised education and quality offered, do convert ETSIAE in a first line centre within the international aerospace field.

Background of the previous schools


The higher education studies of aeronautics in Spain have their origin in a Royal Decree of 1928 promoting the foundation of the Escuela Superior Aerotécnica. Located at that time in a building near the Cuatro Vientos aerodrome, the school was to meet the urgent need to provide the most highly qualified professionals for this specific area of engineering to carry out the functions resulting from the increasing boom experienced by the first Spanish airlines.

After nine years (1939-1948), being transformed into a Military Academy of Aeronautical Engineers, depending on the Air Force Ministry, it recovered the original civil nature of the Aeronautical School (under the name of Escuela Especial de Ingenieros Aeronáuticos), as well as the capacity power to grant the degree of Aeronautical Engineer, becoming dependent, as the rest of the engineering schools, on the Ministry of National Education.

Although in 1954 its current location was assigned in Ciudad Universitaria, the first classes were carried out in the new building during the academic year 1961-1962. The Law of Order of Technical Teaching of 20 of July of 1957 gives it its definitive denomination of Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Aeronáuticos (ETSIA) and in 1971 it adheres to the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, UPM.

Currently, ETSIA has a reduced management team for, among other functions, covering students who are still enroled in Aeronautical Engineer and PhD studies until the curriculum was discontinued, which is expected to take place in 2018.




The EUITA has been the school in charge of technical aeronautical engineering, from its beginnings until its curriculum was discontinued. At first, their students were referred to as Aeronautical Engineer Assistants or Aeronautical Experts. It was in 1964, with the enactment of the Act on the New Framework of Technical Education (Ley de Reordenación de las Enseñanzas Técnicas), when the name of technical engineer was adopted. 

Therefore, it was originally founded on 15 December 1939, when the Escuela de Ayudantes de Ingenieros Aeronáuticos del Ejército del Aire de Cuatro Vientos (Madrid) was established. Later and after several denominations, the Decree 1377/1972 established the Escuela Universitaria de Ingeniería Técnica Aeronáutica integrating into the newly created Universidad Politécnica de Madrid. Since then, two different curricula have been developed; the 1971 curriculum with five specialities and the 2002 one establishing instead 5 degrees. Currently, both curricula are discontinued.