In Germany, the civil operation of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in principle requires permission of the authorities according to the German Aviation Regulation’s provisions on RPAS published in January 2010 (German Aviation Regulation (LuftVO) Article 15a, 16 and 16a) and is regulated according the MTOM of the vehicle (above or below 25 Kg.)
This document was developed exclusively to regulate aircrafts below 25 Kg, flying below 100 meters of ceiling and operating in VLOS. Future modifications of this regulation are expected soon.
NfL I 281/13
Joint Federal Government/federal state principles for granting permission to fly unmanned aerial systems in accordance with Section 16(1)(7) of the Air Traffic Regulations (LuftVO)
These principles apply to the granting of permission to fly unmanned aerial systems1 that:
• are operated within the controller’s range of vision;
• are not operated exclusively for sporting or recreational purposes;
• do not fly at an altitude of more than 100 metres above ground level;
• have a total mass not exceeding 25 kg.
A differentiation, necessary on a case-by-case basis, between unmanned aerial systems and flying models referred to in Section 1(2)(9) of the Civil Aviation Act shall be made exclusively on the basis of their purpose: if the device is used for sporting or recreational purposes, the rules governing flying models shall apply. If, on the other hand, operation of the device involves another, especially commercial, purpose (e.g. taking photographs with the aim of selling them), the device shall be deemed to be an unmanned aerial system, the operation of which requires permission under Section 16(1)(7) of the Air Traffic Regulations, irrespective of its weight.
The following information is designed to provide practical guidance to the competent authorities referred to in Section 31(2)(16) of the Civil Aviation Act and to define the framework of action for the granting of permission in accordance with Section 16(1)(7) of the Air Traffic Regulations.