Guideline for professional UAV use in Germany

 

Maybe it's already known here, but I don't remember having seen it: The "Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung" (Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development) in Germany published a guide (in german only) about the professional use of UAV: Nutzung von unbemannten Luftfahrtsystemen

It's a pretty clear guide under what conditions you need a license / authorization and how to obtain them. Most things are "good sense", which is pretty rare. In short: the guide clearly states as criteria the intended use: nothing particular to do in most cases of private and recreation use if UAV weight is below 5kg. Everything else requires authorization.

Regards, P.R.

Views: 2753


T3
Comment by Thorsten on December 2, 2013 at 2:33pm

Danke!

Comment by Oliver on December 3, 2013 at 12:34am

Thanks for bring this up, Panik Room. This document is only a "quick guide" to the full regulations. Be advised that while I'm fluent in German there are technical legal terms in this that I'm not sure about and don't have time to research.

Basically it says that any use other than noncommercial "sport" or hobby is subject to these regulations. (Hobby aircraft have their own regulations.)  If the gross weight of the non-hobby UAV is over 5 kilos, each flight (or I presume set of flights in the same location/timeframe) requires permission. The process of getting permission includes filing what amounts to a comprehensive flight plan and documentation about the aircraft and proof of insurance. There are specific blanket prohibitions: over 25 kilos, flight out of unaided sight and flight over 100 meters AGL are all categorically prohibited. Aircraft must be able to be controlled manually. No flights over people.

The slightly good news in this Teutonic micro- managerial exercise is that non-hobby non-hydrocarbon fueled UAVs that weigh less than 5 kilos have the "possibility" in "most states" of being issued an ongoing authorization to fly that is good for up to two years. All the other rules appear to apply. There must have been some debate and controversy around this, because the entire document is apparently an attempt by the federal government to reconcile various differing state regulations, but on this topic those qualifiers indicating ongoing differences pop up.

Bottom line - it looks like if you can stay under 5 kilos you may have a shot at being able to base a pretty casual, maybe part-time business on a multi in Germany, say photographing real estate or such. But if you need a bigger horse, it looks like it will take the sort of time and effort to comply that only a full-time, probably staffed, business can afford. Overall I don't like it much and I hope it doesn't become a model.

  

Comment by Panik Room on December 3, 2013 at 12:35pm

Hi Oliver,

thanks for commenting. I did not go in all details, because my quadros are below 5kg and I do it as hobbyist. Nevertheless, this (short) guide provides useful clarifications.

If the gross weight of the non-hobby UAV is over 5 kilos, each flight (or I presume set of flights in the same location/timeframe) requires permission. The process of getting permission includes filing what amounts to a comprehensive flight plan and documentation about the aircraft and proof of insurance.

Correct. You need for every flight a license over 5kg. They are issued by each state. Most of them accept to issue them batch-wise for multiple flights. Usually one license is around 50EUR. For batch you may get special price, just talk with them.

The slightly good news in this Teutonic micro- managerial exercise

I don't see it that way. It's pretty straight forward to get a license, and there is less room for both sides, requester and deliverer, for interpretation, which leads to predictable outcome. You may think that's micro management, but my experience is that such a process leads to less issues than in lower regulated countries. I don't consider that as beeing over-regulated.

There must have been some debate and controversy around this, because the entire document is apparently an attempt by the federal government to reconcile various differing state regulations, but on this topic those qualifiers indicating ongoing differences pop up.

Each state may have deviations, but this guides is part of the way to bring all states at the same level of criteria.

Purpose is also to provide information who to contact.

Bottom line - it looks like if you can stay under 5 kilos you may have a shot at being able to base a pretty casual, maybe part-time business on a multi in Germany, say photographing real estate or such.

Below 5kg you can get a 2 years license, which imho is acceptable.

But if you need a bigger horse, it looks like it will take the sort of time and effort to comply that only a full-time, probably staffed, business can afford. Overall I don't like it much and I hope it doesn't become a model.

The fees are in accessible range, around 50 EUR, some states less, some more. If a business can't effort that, then I would question the business case anyway. Taxi drivers have to pay for a license, many others also. Why should it be different here? The purpose is also to increase the awareness of your responsibility towards others. Clearly, I assume if somebody got a license he will take more care, as he knows that he is filed for the flight he will do.

Besides that, I personally would prefer to be able to fly for free, and without such regulations. But if I see what some people do, without any sens of responsibility or care of rights of others, then such regulations are logical and required. It's like a drivers license. Why would we need one if everybody Reason for my post was to point out a clear and straight forward guide to get the approvals, which is a huge progress. Often you will be informed that you need a license for something, but it's nearly impossible to figure out how.

One other important point of the guide: Privacy. You have to show that you do not violate privacy rights of others, which in my point of view is an important aspect.

Last (good) point of this guide: It helps to answer questions of people coming by, sometimes with concerns about your activity. You can easily, as hobbyist, show that you're within the rules. Even policeman are thankful if you show that you're sure what you're doing. I know, they should now this regulations, but as they are not confronted with these kind of thematic often, you can remove all kind of interpretations out of the way.

Comment by BluSky1 on December 3, 2013 at 9:57pm

Under 5KG 2 year license $50... in Germany

Man the USA and our bureaucrats look dumber and dumber every day....

Comment by Oliver on December 4, 2013 at 12:35am

Hi Panik Room,

Thanks for the further commentary. I agree with much of what you suggest, including having to somehow deal with the unfortunate circumstance of too many irresponsible or just plain stupid people putting others at risk of one sort or another.

But a sticking point for me is the requirement for a "flight plan" for each operation rather than simply licensing the pilot and then relying on him/her to do what's correct (with penalties for screw ups). For one thing, such a requirement precludes the use of heavier multis for realtime-critical applications, such as rescue-related flight, breaking news journalism, immediate oil-spill tracking, FLIR-related flights, etc. etc. - there are a whole lot of circumstances in which one might need or want to get a heavier-than-5K UAV into the air right now, and to make that impossible is I think short sighted and not in anyone's best interests.

So to me, given for the moment that governmental regulation is truly necessary (and that can be debated), the acceptable solution is to license the pilot to operate within a set of parameters having mostly to do with safety but also encompassing secondary matters like privacy. This works pretty well for automobiles, which after all are much more dangerous than any 25 kilo UAV, and it works for light aircraft as well. The licensing process should not be too onerous and there might be different steps, etc. Once licensed, the responsibility (and privilege)  not only for the flying itself but the determination of the appropriateness of a given flight is in the hands of the pilot, where it belongs, not with someone behind a desk. 

 

Comment by Panik Room on December 4, 2013 at 1:20am

@Oliver,

I appreciate your comments, and I agree, per pilot license would have been easier to handle, in particular to allow activities you mention like rescue, environmental protection etc. I would not exclude the possibility that you can obtain such license, but probably not with the "simplified" process. I don't know if small airplanes, like ULMs, do require to submit flight-plan in Germany. Would be interesting to figure out...

The guide at shows that there are at least some people in the administration thinking in the right direction trying to simplify things. I hope such initiatives will continue.

Thanks,

P.R

Comment by Jon Chappell on June 20, 2016 at 6:57am

Hi Panik Room,

Can you help me get in touch with the district council in Bavaria, as I need to apply for a permit for drone work in September. My drone is under 5kg and I am based in the UK. I have read that it is the district council's in Germany that grant 2 year permits for commercial drone operations but I can't find the website or email address to contact. Any help would be much appreciated.

Jon

Comment

You need to be a member of DIY Drones to add comments!

Join DIY Drones

© 2019   Created by Chris Anderson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service