🖐 In this blog post we’ll share all drone law links & known rules about recreational & commercial drone use in Germany (Berlin). Give a 👍 at the end of this post if you enjoyed it & feel free to ask any questions or share your experience in the Germany Drone Discussion Group. Keep in mind that the content below is updated to the best of our ability & does not replace official sources & your own research.
Recreational vs Commercial drone use in Germany
Germany differentiates commercial & recreational drone uses. Both are subject to restrictions & a code of conduct. Additionally, depending on the weight of your drone & where you want to fly your drone, different rules will apply.
✅ In Germany, drone laws fall under management of the German Federal Aviation Office (LBA) & they can be contacted anytime via:
Mail: Luftfahrt-Bundesamt, 38144 Braunschweig, Germany.
Phone: +49 531 2355 115 (Monday - Thursday: 10am - 1pm)
Can I bring my drone to Germany?
✅ Currently, there doesn't seem to be any restrictions on bringing drones within Germany (Berlin) as long as your import is considered as legitimate (generally one drone per person).
🚨 Be aware of the airline you purchase to travel as some main ones will only accept your drone on-board if its batteries are detached & placed in a firecase during travel time. Most airlines will have a battery voltage limit based on the recommendation of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). You can find more info about a specific airline here.
💡 Smart! Get your drone batteries' firecase today and make sure you're complying with aviation safety rules.
Where can I fly my drone in Germany?
Germany Drone Map✅ Germany built a detailed drone flight map showing flight restricted areas for recreational use mainly. The map is organised in a 3 colour scheme to help drone owners to fly responsibly & safely within Germany:
Red = don't fly your drone
Orange = restrictions to fly your drone apply
Light Blue = Radio Mandatory Zone (RMZ) means the carriage & operation of radio equipment is mandatory in this airspace for your drone.
Dark Blue = controlled zone
Striped Blue = don't fly your drone (Military Zone)
Green = controlled environmental zones (case by case).
The map also showcases Germany's heliports, airports, public buildings, energy infrastructures, providing 100% accuracy & limiting accident chances.
🦅 For Green Zones, a case by case permission might be needed and you would need to check directly with the local park or reserve authorities before flying your drone.
✅ The Civil Aviation Authority can grant permits to fly in these areas. Unfortunately, every federal state has his own. This means you will have to obtain different permits based on where you want to fly your drone in Germany.
Recreational Drone use in Germany
✅ Good things first, you will not need a permit or a license to fly your drone for recreational use in Germany as long as you do not fly in a restricted (Green, Blue & Orange) or forbidden (Red) zone a drone weighting more than 2 kg.
Saying this, within the German permitted zones, you will need to follow a few rules:
fly your drone at a maximum altitude of 100 m above the ground. (If you're in a restricted zone, then maximum altitude will be 50 m)
fly a drone that weights less than 2 kg* (if more than 5 kg, you will need to register it).
fly your drone only during daylight & always in sight (exception made if your drone weights less than 250 g & flies below 30 m with another person looking at it for you).
the use of 3D helmets is prohibited (exception made if your drone weights less than 250 g & flies below 30 m with another person looking at it for you).
fly your drone 100 m away from people or large crowds (from 12 people) & respect individuals' privacy.
fly at least 1.5 km away from airports & give priority to all other categories of aircraft. If you see a plane or helicopter during your flight, land immediately your drone.
do not fly your drone over public, military, energy & industrial areas.
do not fly near a natural disaster or somewhere emergencies will need to intervene.
*If your drone weights between 2 & 5 kg, you will need a proof of knowledge (LuftVO) test in your pocket to fly it ✅ Keep it handy with you when flying your drone as well for controls.
How to obtain my drone proof of knowledge test (LuftVO) in Germany?
✅ If you hold a pilot's license, you will not need to pass a knowledge test. If you do not hold a license, different rules will apply based on your age:
you are over 16 years old: you will need a certificate provided by a recognised body of the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (Federal Aviation) *see more in the commercial use part.
you are between 14 & 16 years old: you will need a certificate provided by a recognised body of Luftsportverband ( DMFV or DAeC ).
✅ In both cases, the certificates to fly your drone are valid for 5 years.
What do I risk for flying a recreational drone illegally in Germany?
🚨 The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. But generally, they will refer to this code.
Commercial Drone use in Germany
Germany requires you to have a license as a drone pilot & before being able to undertake any flight for commercial purposes, regardless of your drone's weight.
How to obtain my drone license for commercial use in Germany?
First things first, you will need to be eligible by:
being at least 16 years old
a certificate of good conduct (to pass the exam only)
With this checked, you will need to undertake a theory exam to learn all about the rules up there; to be valid, its needs to be undertaken by a certified body of the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt Authority (see here). You will have to answer at least 51 questions in 1H about Germany's Air Laws, Meteorology & General Flight Operations, score 75%+ & its yours 🏆👏
💲 Consider a little above 300 EUR just for the exam bit. The rest of the fees for the preparation varies a lot depending on which certified body you decide to go with.
✅ The license to fly your drone is valid for 5 years.
What do I risk for flying a commercial drone illegally in Germany?
🚨 The amount & scope of the fine will depend on the nature & severity of your infraction. The judges will also evaluate if you intentionally committed the infraction and/or if you had any commercial purposes to do such. But generally they will refer to this code.
Once you got everything in order, you can start flying above Germany's awesome landscapes & create videos like this one (featuring a little bit of Austria as well):
💡 You're a local, have a question or want to share a travel experience? Head to our Germany Drone Discussion Group
Disclaimer: Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information researched, we take no responsibility for any loss, harm or damage caused as a direct or indirect consequence of relying on this information. It is your responsibility to seek advice from qualified local & relevant authorities for needed information about local drone rules and regulations.
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FAQ around drone use in Germany (in German)
Press Release around drone use (in German)