New rules governing drones

Drohnenverordnung (German only)

Fundamental changes

Here are the fundamental changes of the new rules governing drones (Drohnenverordnung):

    • Model aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems are basically treated in the same way.

      • There are restrictions on the operation of model aircraft (such as the requirement to provide proof of knowledge about how to operate model aircraft with a take-off mass exceeding 2kg).

      • Some relief is provided for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (for example, the general requirement that a permission has to be obtained has been dropped).

    • However, permission is still required to operate unmanned aircraft (UAS and model aircraft) with a take-off mass exceeding 5kg.

    • It is still not allowed to operate an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) if its take-off mass exceeds 25kg.

      • The competent authorities may grant exceptions.

    • UAS and model aircraft with a take-off mass exceeding 250g need to have a mandatory identification mark, or label (Kennzeichnungspflicht).

    • If the take-off mass exceeds 250g, remote pilots have to prove they have the necessary knowledge to safely operate the aircraft by passing a test.

    • The rule on operating within visual range has been 'softened' – allowing the use of video glasses.

    • Bans have been introduced for particularly dangerous modes of operation and operations over particularly sensitive areas.

    • Unmanned aircraft have to give way to manned aircraft and unmanned free balloons.