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Drone Laws in Germany (Complete 2023 Guide)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
germany-drone-laws
height flight limit 1

100m max height

cant fly over crowds of people 1

Don’t fly over crowds

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Don't interfere with aircraft

line of sight law 1

Only line of sight

Germany has many places that make for excellent drone shots and footage. But before you decide to document your visit to the Brandenburg Gate with your drone you must keep in mind the drone laws set in place by french authorities.

Which brings us to the topic of this article. Drone laws in Germany and how to navigate them as a drone pilot. Stick around because this’ll be an in-depth article.

Can I fly my drone in Germany?

In most cases, yes. You can fly your drone in Germany as long as it’s within the rules and regulations set by European and German authorities.

Since Germany is in the E.U drone use here is regulated by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) as well as by some local German laws (German Federal Aviation Office).

If you’d like to contact the German Federal Aviation Office directly before you travel with any questions you might have, here is their contact form.

Where can I fly my drone in Germany?

Good question because not all places in Germany are okay for you to fly over. Drones in Germany 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.

The scope of the flight map does not cover National Parks in which case you must seek clarification from the authority concerned.

Take care not to fly over private land and buildings unless you have express authorization from the owner. 

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General rules for flying a drone in Germany

Since Germany is part of the European Union, drone use here is regulated by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), with some additional drone laws specific to Germany.

There are three operational categories that determine that type of regulations regarding drone use. Since most drones fall in the “open” category that’s what we’ll cover here. (if you’d like to learn more about this, check my in-depth article about drone laws in the European union).

What makes a drone in the “Open” category?

Good question, a drone can be considered in the “Open” category if it fills the following conditions:

  • Your drone has one the class identification labels from 0 to 4 (I go more into this in my E.U drone laws article).
  • Your drone was purchased before January 2023.
  • Your drone’s maximum lift-off weight is 25kg or less.
  • You as a pilot always keep your drone away from people (your type of operations don't need proximity to people).
  • You’ll always maintain a visual line of sight.
  • You won’t fly your drone over 120m in the air (or you can’t, since some drones restrict flight by altitude).
  • Lastly, your drone won’t carry any dangerous or explosive material.

So based on all of the above and IF your drone is considered in the “Open” category, here are the regulations you must keep in mind:

  • You can’t fly your drone over 100m in altitude. And in controlled airspaces, the maximum altitude is half that at 50m.
  • As usual you should always maintain visual line of sight and keep the drone within your sights. An exception can be made for FPV drones that are below 250g in weight.
  • If your drone is over 5 kilograms, you can’t fly it at night without a permit.
  • Drone insurance is obligatory for all drones in Germany.
  • Every drone over 250g in weight must have a ticket sticker on it that contains the name and address of the owner. This ticket must be fireproof.
  • Drones in Germany may not be flown over crowds, industrial areas, disaster areas, prisons, residential areas, certain traffic routes, and several other areas designated as sensitive.
  • You can’t fly your drone above or horizontally within 100m from federal highways, federal waterways, and railway facilities.
  • Natural conservation areas are off limits for drone flight unless you have permission from the relevant authorities.
  • 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.

Conclusion

Germany is home to many beautiful historical sites that make for some of the best shots and films out there. I think any drone enthusiast visiting Germany should take their time and take as much footage as they can, but only after familiarizing themselves with the legal landscape regarding drone use.

Otherwise you might find yourself with your drone confiscated, a 4 digit euro penalty or worse, even jail time in some rare cases. 

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.
paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

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