Since January 2021 the common law of the European Union for drone operators came into force. As Germany is affected by it there are a few restrictions to consider.
The first criteria to determine what licence is needed for your drone is the weight. Most drones that get sold after 1st January 2023 will be certified in a special ‚CE class‘, depending on their weight. As long as your drone is not certified (C0-C4 marking), following licence is needed for operation in Germany (and other EU states):
The ‚A1/A3 Licence‘ is the smaller one you can complete on the website of the Federal Air Authority (LBA). It requires little effort and doesn’t take long, currently it costs about 30 Euro. Here is the Link to the German webpage of the LBA. The A1/A3 Licence is in Germany only available in German language – but this licence is valid from all EU-States. So we recommend to do the examination of the A1/A3 licence in an english speaking EU-Country, for example at the Irish aviation Authority.
However the A2 Drone Licence ‚Remote Pilot Certificate Of Competency‘ is the one you additionally need for many drone models. Drones like the Mavic series (except the Mavic Mini) require the ‚bigger‘ A2 licence for flying in the city or similar areas then the Take-Off-Weight is between 500 g – 2 kg. It can be completed in an attendance course or completely online. For beginners we recommend the course in attendance where we teach and practice flying the drone. If you are an advanced drone user you can easily complete the online course (including the test). We offer individual drone Courses in english for bigger companies, for all other users we recommend the A2 Licence courses from Copter-Uni* which are also available in English.
Special rules for drone operators in Germany
Germany has relatively strict drone rules which are much more extensive than in most of the other EU-States. The most important one is the §21h LuftVO (Link in German), here are the most important facts:
- 1,5 km safety distance to airfields which are marked in the ICAO Map
- 1 km safety distance to the sides of international airports – additially we have a flight ban within 5 km of the extension of the runway (5×2 km rectangle)
- 50 m maximum height in civil control zones of international airports (when you are outside the above mentioned safety distances)
- 100 m distance to federal streets, waterways and railway facilities (but the 1:1 rule can be used – so e.g. 20 m height at 20 m distance)
- 100 m distance to jails, power lines, accident sites, hospitals and accident sites
- flight ban above national parks and nature conservation areas
- flight ban above private houses, open air bath and similar locations
What else do you have to keep in mind?
Due to the new regulations the maximum height you are allowed to fly to is now 120 m (which is 20 m more than it used to be). Furthermore you have to keep a distance of 50 m from uninvolved people (for non certified drones like the Mavic 2). When your drone is above 2 kg Take-Off-Weight and you want to operate within commercial areas or the city a permission in the „specific category“ by the LBA or the individual state aviation authority is needed.
As this is a quite complex topic you can contact us for further consulting in case that you need a special drone permission in Germany.