What are the uses of UAV

Conquerors of the Skies - This is to be considered when using drones

Drones are much more than technically sophisticated toys. The remote-controlled flying objects offer photographers and film crews the opportunity to take breathtaking aerial shots, they help craftsmen to check roofs and support farmers in checking the vegetation. The so-called drone regulation has been in force in Germany since April 7, 2017.

The following applies: Drones, multicopters and UAVs (English for "Unmanned Airial Vehicles") are classified as aircraft according to Section 1 (2) LuftVG. According to Section 43 (2) LuftVG, they are subject to compulsory insurance as soon as they lift off the ground. Private liability insurance is usually not enough. Drone pilots must therefore take out additional insurance for aircraft, which includes the use of drones, multicopters and UAVs.

Drone laws in Germany: minimum age and drone driving license

There is no general minimum age for flying drones in Germany. A drone driving license or equivalent proof of knowledge is only required from a takeoff weight of 2 kilograms. The flight test is based on a minimum age of 16 years and must be carried out by an examination body recognized by the Federal Aviation Office. In addition, the German Model Aviation Association offers equivalent training. Participation is possible from the age of 14. An additional ascent permit for drones is required for the operation of model aircraft and unmanned aviation systems with a takeoff weight of more than 5 kilograms as well as for commercial flying. This is issued by the state aviation authorities and costs between 100 and 200 euros, depending on the state. A distinction must be made between a general license and an individual license for drones. While a general permit is issued for a period of between one and two years, an individual permit is only valid for a short period of up to two weeks.

To submit an application, proof of existing liability insurance, a data sheet for the drone, proof of knowledge and the pilot's personal data must be available.

Labeling requirement for drones: what must be on it?

There is currently no obligation to register the drone in Germany. However, aircraft with a takeoff weight of more than 250 grams are subject to labeling so that the owner can be identified promptly in the event of damage. The marking must:

  • be affixed permanently and legibly
  • have fireproof lettering
  • contain the name and full address of the owner


A conventional sticker is not enough to identify a drone. The drone regulation recommends the use of a drone license plate or an aluminum sticker with an address engraving.

Note: Anyone who controls a drone without a license plate is committing an administrative offense.

Where and how high can a drone fly?

The drone ordinance generally limits the altitude of drones, multicopters and UAVs to 100 meters above the ground. The maximum altitude of 100 meters may only be exceeded on designated model airfields.

For special facilities, such as hospitals, penal institutions and industrial plants, a minimum night of 100 meters must be observed. The specified distance must also be kept to crowds of people, railway systems and military facilities.

If you want to fly your drone over a nature reserve, you have to expect a severe penalty. Overflights are prohibited, as is flying over control zones, airports and residential properties. Exception: It is allowed to fly over inhabited private property if the owner agrees. The only exceptions are drones without a camera and weighing less than 250 grams.

Photo and video recordings: respect privacy!

A drone makes it temptingly easy to film areas inaccessible from the street. However, the current legal situation restricts the taking of photos and videos from the air. Individuals may only be admitted with their permission, taking personal rights into account, and the admission of private properties, as well as their overflight, requires permission. The photography of buildings is a specialty. It is permitted to photograph a copyrighted building for private purposes, but the subsequent publication or sale without permission violates copyright law.

As a rule of thumb for buildings and land: Everything that can be seen with the naked eye and from a normal perspective can be photographed.