Tour de France to start in Düsseldorf

Ministry of Transport establishes restricted area

29.06.2017.- On 1 and 2 July 2017, the first two stages (Grand Départ) of the Tour de France will begin in Düsseldorf, Germany. The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has established a restricted area around the venue. Flights under visual flight rules (VFR) as well as model aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems are prohibited in this area. These flight restrictions do not apply to police flights, rescue flights and flights conducted by the organiser of the event for television coverage.

The restricted area is scheduled to be active from 1 July 2017, 13:00 - 20:00 hours and on Sunday 2 July 2017, 10:00 - 14:30 hours. Regular flight operations at Düsseldorf Airport will not be affected by these measures. The restricted area is a circle with a radius of 2 nautical miles (about 3,700 metres) around the Tonhalle concert hall in Düsseldorf and extends from the ground to 2,500 ft, or about 800 meters.

Restricted areas are put in place as security measures to prevent hazards; they can either be permanent (for example above nuclear power plants or the government precinct in Berlin) or temporary. On the second day of the event (the race from Düsseldorf, Germany to Liège, Belgium), it is particularly important for operators of drones to comply with the new rules governing drones in Germany. For example, outside of the restricted area, these rules require the operators of drones to maintain a minimum distance of 100 metres from Federal roads and generally prohibit flying drones over groups of people.

More details about the rules can be found here: Search term: Drones

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,550 employees as at 31 December 2016. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,000 air traffic controllers guide up to 10,000 flights in German airspace every day, about three million movements every year. This makes Germany the country with the highest traffic volume in Europe. The company operates control centres in Langen, Bremen, Karlsruhe and Munich as well as control towers at 16 international airports in Germany. The subsidiary, DFS Aviation Services GmbH, markets and sells products and services related to air navigation services as well as providing air traffic control at nine regional airports in Germany and at London Gatwick Airport in the UK.