Drone Licence & New Regulations in Germany

9. November 2015

The German Minister of Transport, Alexander Dobrindt wants to reform the regulation of civil drone use in Germany. Due to increasing numbers of civil drone operations for commercial and recreational purpose. Labelling obligation of drones per ID, driving / flying licences for commercial operators and new regulatory frameworks for both private and professional drone users will come soon.

Safe operation + drone licence = BLOS possible

Commercial drone users in inspection, surveying and agricultural applications won’t be surprised and welcome the new framework plans from the German Ministry of Transport. A mandatory drone licence for operators and pilots is a unique selling proposition that could help to clearly separate private and semi-professional users from professionals. According to Dobrindt’s plans even professional flights beyond line of sight – so called BLOS flights – will be allowed then.

“Private drones and drone’s commercial use are increasing all the time. This causes potential threats through collisions and crashes for example. Thus I will reform the drone operation regulations: Drones must be registered so that an operator can be identified. Drone operations in residential and congested areas, over federal highways, railway lines, scenes of accident and emergency or industrial assets and utilities will be forbidden. For commercial drone operators knowledge of relevant civil aviation law will be required and tested.” Alexander Dobrindt (CSU), German Minister of Transport.

New drone market potential through BLOS flights

BLOS flights have been illegal for a long time. Therefore many drone applications were not feasible. By the permission of BLOS flights new drone applications will be practicable and new markets will emerge. Some professional operations will become easier. Others will be possible in the first place. Imagine drone applications like industrial inspections of assets and utilities, infrastructure inspection of railways and powerlines with optional BLOS flights for remote sensing. There is tremendous demand from operators and markets for beyond line of sight flights. However a drone licence test for drone operators will be obligatory for that. Only visual line of sight, so called VLOS flights, have been legal so far.

New regulations for commercial drone operators

  • Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, UAV, drones) provide promising opportunities in agriculture and transport for instance. To enable further development the Ministry of Transport will improve these emerging fields of applications.
  • State authorities can permit beyond line of sight flights (BLOS), when the operator is able to verify a safe flight record. Any beyond line of sight flight was forbidden by law.
  • For commercial drone pilots and operators there will be a licence obligation. Flying skills and knowledge of basic civil aviation law will be tested and verified in a drone operation licence by the German Aviation Agency.

New regulations for private drone users

  • To avoid a hazard in airspace and minimize danger of third party injuries, the regulations for private drone use will be rearranged.
  • Private drone flights will prohibitied for beyond line of sight flights and flights above 100 flight altitude.
  • Not allowed: Drone flights over industrial assets and utilities, prisons, military installations, crowds of people, scenes of accident and emergency, place of action of police, fireman or other security authorities, power and energy generation plants, power lines as well as over federal highways and railways.

Source: http://www.bmvi.de/SharedDocs/DE/Artikel/K/151108-drohnen.html

Drones: Labelling obligation from 500 g MTOW

Another new regulation will be the labelling obligation of drones from 0.5 kg maximum takeoff weight. All drones regardless of wether you use it for recreation or commercially shall be registered and identifiable. So that in case of collision or crash the operating person or responsible pilot can be hold responsible.

For this reason the AscTec Falcon 8 is labelled ever since. An ID label is on its ‘back’ and a black box inside the UAS drone is tracking every single flight. At the same time a triple redundant IMU and adaptive flight control provide unmatched controllability and safety for commercial and professional use.

German press reviews about “New regulations for drone flights”: