Flight Regulation in NRW: German Ardu-Group


Ich habe eine Mail von einem gewissen Rai erhalten, der diverse Fragen zu Flugbeschränkungen in Deutschland hat. Ich würde ja gerne etwas antworten, weiß aber nicht wie. Bei der Mail ist als Antwort-Adresse "do-not-reply" eingetragen, im Forum finde ich nix, in meiner Inbox ist auch nix. Es scheint eine Rund-Mail an alle Mitglieder der German Ardu-Group zu sein.

Weiß jemand, wie und wo man da antworten kann?



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  • Hi Rai

    seems that we are ready for talking now.

    The legal issues are not in german but in a language
    of its own;) You probably won't get final answers
    here. But one general rule is to be in full control
    of the aircraft at all times. That means LOS and
    able to switch back to manual mode for safe landing.

    That will give you only a small area for tests. For
    me I work within a 400m rectangle. This is enough
    testing different auto modes and all my cam setup.

    Long range telemetry or things like that are not

    Be aware that most of Germany are hidden but beautiful
    golf courses no one should put his feet on. Seriously
    the few airports are not the important restrictions
    in practice. Simply stay away from them. In general you need
    an explicit permission to fly, not only for the take off
    field but for the route as well.

    In the Cologne area I would not try looking for a field
    by myself but ask other pilots first. They will help you
    for the questions you asked for. A local shop selling RC
    equipment should have contact addresses to start with.

    I'm not living in that area so I can't give you more

    Wolfgang R.

    • Hi Wolfgang,

      Thanks so so so much for the general and important information you provided! I have been in contact since yesterday with one local pilot (also member of this group) who is very helpful and resourceful. I'll definitely try to keep myself within the 'regulation zone'. I am more than sure that 400m rectangle will give me enough space to test auto modes. Thanks again Wolfgang.



  • Dear Otmar (and all),

    Again, I am so so sorry for communicating in English and not in German as my written German is totally a mess. Thank you for understanding. I am so sorry if I somehow strike you all with e-mail, I actually intended to open u a discussion here but I must have made mistakes by choosing e-mail everybody instead. I am sorry.

    I am a researcher at the University of Bonn and for the last 2 years using DIY drones to support our research in the tropics focusing on political ecology (i.e. support also the ongoing participatory mapping with local indigenous community of Borneo and elsewhere). Community drones had been established in which training how to use and to operate diy drones and to develop a map (out of ortophoto) are given to local community members to protect the remaining forest.

    I am based in Germany (Koeln) and still try to optimize the system. I try to understand regulations here (I haven't flown any 'drones' at all in Germany as I am curious about the regulations) about drones. It would be really really helpful if probably you can help with some related information regarding:

    1. Autonomous flight is prohibited ?

    2. No Fly Zone radius from the Airport is 3 KM ? (I personally fly outside of 5 KM radius anywehere else).

    3. What kind of insurance we should have (for the drones or for the person)?

    4. What kind of license we should have?

    5. What's the altitude limit for flying (I suppose LOS / Line of Sight)?

    Thank you so so so much all and Thank you Otmar for bring it up here.

    I appreciate very very much any information.



    • Hello Rai,

      some informations regarding your points:

      1. Yes, you aren't allowed to fly autonomously (unless you have a special permission by the Luftamt)
      2. As far a I know there is a general radius of 1.5 km from any airport. Bigger airports have additional control zones ("Kontrollzonen") with additional restrictions, espacially concering the maximum altitude. Since June 1th 2015 there is a general permission from the "Deutsche Flugsicherung" to use the Kontrollzonen around international (!) airports under some conditions (max. altitude 30 m / 50 m, max. 5 kg,...).
      3. You need at least a special "Modellflieger-Haftpflichtversicherung". Attention: cheap ones are often limited to flying on model-airfields.
      4. For commercial use you need at least a "Allgemeine Aufstiegserlaubnis" from the "Luftamt". And you need the (oral or written) permission from the owner to use his property for starting an landing.
      5. Yes, LOS is normally the limiting factor. The maxmium altitude depends on the Kontrollzone which is valid for the area where you are flying. As far as I understand there is at least one Zone ("E") valid all over Germany, which limits the altitude to 2.500 ft (about 750 m) - which you will never use because you have to fly within the range of vision and aren't allowed to fly autonomously. In the surrounding of Zone "D" (around airports) the altitude is often limited to 1.000 ft (about 300 m). You can find information about these Kontrollzones in the ICAO-maps; unfortunately they are not available online. Some small extracts you can find at DFS (http://www.dfs.de/dfs_homepage/de/Services/Luftsport%20&%20Frei...%20%22Drohnen%22/%C3%9Cbersicht%20Kontrollzonen/) (see also attached file as an example)

      Hope that helps a little bit.



    • Dear Otmar,

      Thanks so so much for the information. I'll try my best to keep on learning and understanding those regulations as much as I can and search for a local pilot here. There is a nice local pilot just contacted me and He is a very resourceful and helpful person. Thanks Otmar.



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