Drones are fun and great aerial photography with their cameras. But what many do not know: Not everywhere you are allowed to fly the small multicopter just like that. You may even need a drone driver's license. We explain what legal regulations apply and what you need to know before you let your drone go up.
Drones that can be navigated through the air using their smartphones or even VR glasses, taking digital photos or videos, have become increasingly popular in recent years. They are perfect for taking pictures of weddings, sports events or other events. Others fly through special courses to the bet or just make it a leisure time by flying around in their garden.
The operation of a drone is not always and everywhere allowed. Because the small multicopters can also be dangerous, for example, if they crash over inhabited areas or in the worst case obstruct the air traffic. In addition, photographic and video recordings in German airspace may violate the applicable privacy rights. For larger models, there is even a drone driver's license.
What rules apply to the use of drones, which regulates in Germany the drone regulation of the Federal Ministry of Transport. The law has officially been in force since April 2017. Since October 2017, each pilot of a drone may have the duty to provide a so-called "proof of knowledge". We will give you an overview of the most important rules of the Drone Ordinance and what you have to observe.
What is officially a drone?
A drone is generally an unmanned aerial vehicle. The aviation law differentiates between commercially used, unmanned aviation systems and private aircraft models. Among the last category are the remote-controlled quadro- or multicopters, which we know as "drones".
The Drone Ordinance divides drones and model airplanes into different classes according to their weight. Flying objects weighing more than 0.25 kilograms are subject to mandatory labeling. You must generally wear a badge bearing the name and address of the owner. The must be permanently attached and fireproof, so you can find the holder in case of damage.
Who needs a drone driver's license?
In addition to the labeling requirement, a "proof of knowledge for the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles" according to Article 21 of the Air Traffic Regulation is required, ie the so-called drone driving license is then mandatory. The proof of knowledge is also necessary for lighter drones, if they reach an altitude of over 100 meters. In order to fly with your drone at this altitude, you also need a permit from the National Aviation Authority.
A permit requirement also applies if the drone is heavier than 5 kilos and you want your aircraft to fly at night. A special permit is also required within restricted areas. Below 5 pounds you do not need a permit. This also applies since 2017 if you want to use unmanned aircraft systems commercially. Prior to this, regardless of weight, permission had to be obtained for its use.
You do not need a drone driver's license if you have your multicopter on an official model airfield. The same applies, of course, for remote-controlled aircraft models. However, the above-mentioned labeling requirement also applies to drones and models when flying on such terrain. Even holders of a valid pilot's license or a pilot's license do not need an additional driver's license to fly a drone.
Make drone driver's license – how it works!
The drone driver's license or certificate of proof can be taken by hobby pilots at all official bodies recognized by the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt. These include, for example, flight schools or special training providers for multicopters, drone dealers or organizations and institutions such as the TÜV Süd or the Lufthansa Aviation Training Center as well as the German model airline associations. The complete list of all recognized providers can be found on the website of the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt.