Drone Laws in Germany
Drone regulations and links for people flying drones in Germany.
Germany Drone Regulations
According to Germany’s national aviation authority, the German Federal Aviation Office (FAO), flying a drone is legal in Germany, but we recommend being aware of and compliant with the drone regulations listed below before doing so.
If you’d like to contact the FAO directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact information: FAO Contact Form / +49 531 2355 115
Why fly a drone in Germany? To get great aerial shots like these!
General Rules for Flying a Drone Within the European Union
Germany is a part of the European Union and therefore must abide by the drone regulations put in place by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). In addition to these regulations, Germany also has regulations that are country-specific.
Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone within the European Union.
There are three operational categories that determine drone regulations based on the weight of the drone and the intended operation. This section will only cover the Open Category, to see all European Union laws and categories, click here.
A drone can be operated in the “Open “category if:
- The drone has one of the class identification labels 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4.
- The drone was purchased before 1 January 2023, with no class identification label as above.
- The drone has a maximum take-off mass of less than 25 kg (55 lbs).
- The remote pilot keeps the drone at a safe distance away from people.
- The drone will not be operated directly over people unless it has a class identification label or is lighter than 250 g (0.55 lbs). (Please refer to subcategories of operations: A1, A2, and A3 to find out where you can fly with your drone).
- The remote pilot will maintain a visual line of sight (VLOS) or the remote pilot will be assisted by a UA observer.
- The remote pilot will not operate the drone above 120m (400ft).
- The drone will not carry any dangerous goods and will not drop any material.
General Rules for Flying a Drone in Germany
Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Germany.
- Drones may not fly above 100 meters (328 feet) without a permit. In controlled airspace, the maximum altitude allowed is 50 meters (164 feet).
- Drone pilots must maintain a direct line of sight with their drones at all times. According to our research, an exception might be permissible in the case of FPV flights in which the drone flies no higher than 30 meters (98 feet) above the ground and weighs no more than 250 grams (.55 pounds).
- Drones over 5 kilograms (11 pounds) may not be flown at night without a permit.
- Drones weighing up to 5 kilograms (11 pounds) may be flown without a permit, but a license is required to fly a drone weighing more than 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds).
- Drone insurance is required for all drone operations in Germany.
- Drones may not be flown within 1.5 kilometers (.93 miles) or closer to an airport.
- All drones weighing 250 grams (.55 pounds) or more must be labeled with a fireproof badge containing the name and address of the drone owner/operator.
- Drones may not be flown over crowds, industrial areas, disaster areas, prisons, residential areas, certain traffic routes, and several other areas designated as sensitive. See this map for more information on where drones are banned in Germany.
- Drones may not be flown above and at a lateral distance of 100 meters from federal highways, federal waterways, and railway facilities.
- Drones may not be flown over nature conservation areas protected under the Federal Nature Conservation Act.
- Drones that are able to record/transfer optical, acoustic, or radio signals are forbidden over residential areas unless the owners have agreed to the flight.
For more information on Germany’s drone laws, see this FAQ issued by the German Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure.
Know something we don’t about drone laws in Germany? Send us an email at support[at]uavcoach[dot]com. We are not international aviation attorneys and do our best to keep this page up-to-date for drone pilots, but the reality is that given the pace of the small unmanned aerial system (sUAS) industry and how governments are responding, drone regulations in Germany can change throughout the year, and those changes can be hard to track. If we missed something, please reach out to let us know.
Want to get a feel for the kind of footage you could get flying a drone in Germany? Here you go: