Germany is on the verge of becoming the next country to enact laws regarding the use of drones. The proposed legislation on drones in Germany ranges from fines for not registering to prohibit any drone use without permission. On the verge of becoming the next country to enact laws regarding the use of drones, Germany’s proposed legislation covers a variety of topics. One requirement would be to register all drones with the government. Another would prohibit any usage of a drone without permission.
If you intend to use a drone in Germany, you must be conversant with German law. In this blog, We’ll go through the laws that apply to pilots of helicopters in Germany.
Germany Drone Laws
According to Germany’s national aviation authority (the German Federal Aviation Office), fly your drone in Germany is legal. However, we recommend that you be aware of the regulations and comply with them before you do so.
General Rules for Flying A Drone within the European Union
Germany is part of the European Union. Therefore, it must comply with the UAV regulations set out by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. Germany has its own regulations.
These are the top rules for flying drones within the European Union, based on our research and interpretations of the laws.
The drone regulations are determined based on the drone’s weight and intended operation. There are three operating categories. This section only covers the Open Category.
You can fly your drone in the “Open” category if you have
- One of the following class identification labels can be found on the drone: 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4.
- The drone was bought before January 20, 2023, and has no class identification label.
- The drone’s maximum take-off weight is less than 25kg (55 lbs).
- The drone is kept safe from the people by the remote pilots.
- If the drone is less than 250g (0.55 lbs) or has a class identification tag, it cannot be operated over people. To find out where your drone can fly, please refer to the subcategories A1, A2, or A3.
- Remote pilots will keep a visual line-of-sight (VLOS), or they will be assisted by a UA observer.
- Remote pilots will not fly the drone beyond 120m (400ft).
- The drone won’t carry dangerous goods or drop material.
General Rules for Flying a Drone in Germany
The owner of a UAS that weighs more than 5 kg must get authorization from the German aviation authority.
If the aviation authority finds that the operation is not in danger of air safety, public safety or order, authorization to fly will be granted.
The German Aviation Control must approve the certification of unmanned aerial vehicles(UAVs), and model aircraft for flying in controlled airspace at international and regional airports as well as military bases.
Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Germany.
- Drones may not fly above 100 meters (328 feet) without a permit. In controlled airspace, the maximum altitude allowed is 50 meters (164 feet).
- Drone pilots must maintain a direct line of sight with their drones at all times. According to our research, an exception might be permissible in the case of FPV flights in which the drone flies no higher than 30 meters (98 feet) above the ground and weighs no more than 250 grams (.55 pounds).
- Drones over 5 kilograms (11 pounds) may not be flown at night without a permit.
- Drones weighing up to 5 kilograms (11 pounds) may be flown without a permit, but a license is required to fly your drone weighing more than 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds).
- Drone insurance is required for all drone operations in Germany.
- Drones may not be flown within 1.5 kilometers (.93 miles) or closer to an airport.
- All drones weighing 250 grams (.55 pounds) or more must be labeled with a fireproof badge containing the name and address of the drone owner/operator.
- Drones may not be flown over crowds, industrial areas, disaster areas, prisons, residential areas, certain traffic routes, and several other areas designated as sensitive. See this map for more information on where drones are banned in Germany.
- Drones may not be flown above and at a lateral distance of 100 meters from federal highways, federal waterways, and railway facilities.
- Drones may not be flown over nature conservation areas protected under the Federal Nature Conservation Act.
- Drones that are able to record/transfer optical, acoustic or radio signals are forbidden over residential areas unless the owners have agreed to the flight.
Types of authorizations for the operation of UAS
There are two distinct types of authorizations for the operation of unmanned aerial systems (UAS):
Authorization in general
- Above people and public gatherings;
- Above accident scenes, disaster zones, and other police or other security-related operation sites;
- Above correctional facilities, military complexes, industrial complexes, power plants, and other power generating and distributing facilities, unless these locations expressly permit the operation;
- or in prohibited areas.
The application for a general authorization must include the following information:
- The applicant’s name, date and place of birth, and address;
- The business’s name, as well as the registered agent’s name, address, date, and place of birth, and all employees who will operate the UAS;
- The reason for using the unmanned aircraft systems; and
- Proof of sufficient insurance for personal and property damage accidents.
Authorization on a Case-by-Case Basis
A specific authorization from the aviation authority may be obtained for UAS weighing between 5 and 25 kilograms (approximately 55 pounds). These UAS are subject to the same operational restrictions as UAS, subject to general authorization.  Along with the information required in the general authorization application, the applicant for a specific approval must submit:
- A map indicating the launch area and operating space, as well as a marked launch site (district, lot or city, street, and street number)
- A consent declaration from the property owner or other beneficiary of the launch site;
- Specific statements about the timing (date and time) and, in some cases, the number and duration of launches;
- Technical details about the UAS; information about the operator’s knowledge and experience, or proof of training;
- A data privacy statement;
- A letter of no objection from the competent regulatory or law enforcement agency.
The aviation authority issues a specific authorization that is valid for the specified time and location.
Prohibitions and restrictions
There are several general rules that must be observed when operating a UAS. The UAS must not exceed 25 kg and must be kept within the operator’s visible line of sight.
If the operator is unable to see the aircraft clearly without vision enhancements or if it is blocked from view, a UAS will not be within his visual line of sight.
An exception to the general ban may be granted by an aviation authority. If the intended use is not in danger of public safety or order and the UAS operates within a restricted flight area, as per section 17 of the Air Traffic Regulation, they may grant an exception to the general prohibition. They might also grant exceptions to the operation if it is not within the airfield traffic at a landing location.
If the UAS is operated within an operator’s visible line of sight for agricultural or forest purposes, the restriction-flight zone does not apply.
A UAS cannot be flown more than 1.5 km from an airport without a permit. A UAS cannot fly above people or other public gatherings.
Because of the low risk, there is no need for either prior authorization from the competent authority or a declaration from the drone operator. The drone must have a total takeoff weight of less than 25kg and must be operated within sight of the operator at an altitude of no more than 120m.
Because of the moderate risk involved, this category requires authorization prior to operation. Except in certain standard scenarios, where an operator declaration suffices, permission is granted based on the mitigation measures that have been identified during an operational risk assessment.
Due to the inherent dangers of drone flying, certification and remote pilots licensing are necessary. You fall under the Certified category if your drone can carry people.
Note to foreign operators
Operator Registration (Non-EU Residents)
- Register as an Operator if you’re coming from outside the EU and you’re flying your drone for the first time in an EU country.
- After registration, you will be issued a unique Operator Registration Number which you must attach to your drone. You must attach the same number to all your drones, even if you have multiple.
- You cannot fly in NO FLY ZONES and must stay at least 8 km from airports/heliports.
- You must not register if you have already carried out operations in an EU country before you go to Germany. Always register to the country in which you flew first.
- You must pay a registration fee to register successfully
Remote Pilot Certificate (Non-EU Residents)
- You must have a Remote Pilot Certificate from an EU country if you wish to fly your drone in Germany.
- Register online with Remote Pilot School to receive the A1/A3 Certificate.
- For those who wish to fly a drone in an ‘Open’ category, in subcategories, A1/A3, will need to pass an exam and complete online training.
- Pass is 75%, and you can try three times to get there.
- After passing your exam, your remote pilot certificate will be issued to you. It will have a validity of 5 years.
- If you intend to fly drones in Germany, you must have your Remote Pilot Certificate. You will need it to present the authorities.
You must be familiar with Germany’s drone regulations before you can fly your drone there. The drone regulations in Germany are quite strict compared to the ones in the United States.
These rules must be followed by both domestic and international drone operators:
- For drones that weigh more than 500g, a valid insurance certificate will be required.
- Drones that weigh more than 250g must be marked with a fire-resistant badge. This badge should contain the following information:
- Name of the proprietor
- Avoid flying drones in densely populated areas and prohibited zones.
- Be respectful of the privacy of others when flying your drone.
- If they do not consent, the transmission of footage is strictly prohibited.
- Keep your flight at 400 feet above the ground.
- Your drone’s visual line should always be clear
- Keep a minimum distance of 30m from buildings and people who are not involved in flight operations.
- Fly during daylight hours
- Fly only when visibility is good
How do I register to fly a drone in Germany?
European Regulation (EU 2019/947) states that registration is required for UAS operators, but not for UAS owners.
The UAS Pilot (also known as Remote Pilot (RP)) is the person who controls the UAS flight controls. They are responsible for all aspects of safety during flight operations.
The UAS Operator is the individual or company responsible for overseeing operations and giving flight instructions. This legal entity or person is responsible for all operations of the drone. Often, the Pilot and Operator are one person in the OPEN category.
Who should sign up?
Operators must register in order to be included in the OPEN category.
- UAS with a maximum mass of 250g or more
- UAS with a mass less than 250g, but:
- can operate at speeds exceeding 90km/h
- If these UAS are not toys, they are equipped with a microphone or a camera.
* A UAS means a toy if it is intended for children younger than 14 years old and meets all safety requirements. These standards limit the UAS’s capabilities (size, weight, and non-dangerous spare part, but no powerful motor). ): See Directive 2009/48 / EC 18 June 2009 on the safety of toys
All operators must register under the SPECIFIC category.
Natural persons are only allowed to register in the country they live in.
Register legal persons in the country where they have their principal business location.
Only one Member State can register at a given time.
How can you register in Germany to fly your drone?
- Register as an operator at the online registration link
- The UAS operator registration number is valid for one year. It must be renewed every other month following the same process. Unless the number is permanently removed from the register, the operator will continue to use the same number.
Notes for recreational drone pilots flying in Germany
Drone flying is only permitted in Germany during daylight hours. Special approval is required for night flights.
Private drone flying in Germany is allowed, but only as per the following conditions:
- There is no special permission required.
- 100m / 328ft Maximum Height
- > 100m / 328ft: Special Permit Required ( (If you’re in a restricted zone, then maximum altitude will be 50 m)
- The drone should always be visible (line of sight)
- The maximum weight allowed for take-off is 5kg/11lbs without special permission Special permission is required for 5kg/11lbs
- Requirements for labeling including complete name and address
- Always have insurance for drone liability.
- Please refer to the EASA general rules above
Notes on how to operate Commercial Drone Services in Germany
If a safe operation is possible, state aviation authorities could authorize commercial UAS operations beyond the operator’s visible line of sight. Operation beyond the operator’s visual line of sight is currently prohibited.
A pilot certificate is required for commercial UAS users. The test would require knowledge of aviation law and aeronautics. The Federal Aviation Administration would issue this certificate.
- Respect the provisions of the Commission Delegated Regulation 2019/945 (as amended) and the Commission Implementing Regulation 2019/947 (as modified).
- Register your drone at a national level, get a drone identification number and a permit to fly.
- A certificate of authorization is required for drones that weigh more than 25kg
- Third-party liability insurance must be purchased with a minimum limit not exceeding one million euros
- You must be at least 18 and have a National Drone Pilot Certificate.
Not permitted to fly in restricted areas
Are drones legal in Germany?
Yes. Drones in Germany are legal.
Germany’s drone laws can be divided into two categories: commercial and recreational. Each category is subject to strict rules and regulations that govern its operation. When determining their classification, it is important to consider the drone’s weight.
Do I need insurance to fly drones in Germany?
Do I need to ensure my drones? Yes. In Germany, drone insurance has been compulsory since 2005. This applies regardless of whether the drone is being used commercially or privately.
What drones are permissible without a drone license?
In this context, is a drone pilot who uses a drone “recreationally”. A license is not required. All commercial drone flights fall under the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (also known as Part 107).
In Germany, there are very few laws that can be said to govern the use of drones. Under the current legislation, it is not necessary to obtain a license to fly a recreational drone use. However, as a pilot of a drone, you must observe the following rules: A pilot should always adhere to the prevailing legislation. In particular, this refers to aviation law, road traffic regulations, and nature protection legislation.
Lucid hopes this article will be helpful for you. Thank you for reading. Here is the full information about German drone law, if you are interested in knowing more about other information. Let’s check here: