In Germany aeromodelling is allowed anywhere, except where location-specific restrictions are in place (air traffic regulations or other limitations). There is no general height limit. The weight limit for model aircraft is 150 kg, models above 25 kg must be certified. A certificate of competence is mandatory for operations above 100 m and heavier than 2 kg, outside approved airfields. The operation of multicopters is limited to a maximum height of 100 m. Operations beyond visual line of sight (“FPV”) require an observer. Liability insurance is mandatory. Membership of an association or club is not required.
Implementing the new EU rules; state of play
The Bundeskommission Modellflug im Deutschen Aeroclub (DAeC) is pursuing an operational authorisation under Article 16(2)(b) of EU Regulation 2019/247. For this purpose, the DAeC has compiled “Standardized Rules for Aeromodels”. These rules describe established procedures, organisational structure and management systems of model aircraft clubs and associations.
The other aeromodelling association in Germany (Deutscher Modellflieger Verband (DMFV)), which is not an EMFU member, is pursuing a separate authorisation under Article 16.
Discussions with the German authorities on the implementation of the new EU legislation and the authorisations for both associations are currently ongoing.
The overview below refers to the current legal framework and is likely to change for the period after June 2020, following the implementation of the EU requirements.
There is no age limit for operating model aircraft below 100m and lighter than 2 kg outside approved airfields. Operation model aircraft outside approved model airfields and above these limits, a certificate of competence is mandatory and pilots need to be at least 14 years old.
A certificate of competence is issued by an association and can be obtained following an online training and an online test. Liability insurance is mandatory. There is no registration requirement. There is no requirement to be a member of a club or associations.
Model aircraft heavier than 25 kg (take-off weight) must be certified and require an annual inspection, as well as a pilot license for their operation. These models are given a registration number. Models weighing less than 25kg but more than 250gr must display the name and address of the owner on a fire-proof placard. There are no specific technical requirements for transponders, cameras, etc.
Flying is restricted near locations such as airports, federal roads, nature areas, hospitals, government buildings, etc.
Outside model airfields the height restriction is 100 m, except when the pilot has a certificate of competence. Multicopters have a height limit of 100m. The general height limit is 2500ft (Airspace G) unless zone-specific rules are in place. Operations outside Airspace zone G are allowed only with the approval of air traffic management.
A map with current flight restrictions can be consulted at: https://www.dfs.de/dfs_homepage/de/Drohnenflug/Regeln/DFS-DrohnenCheck/
- Deutscher Aero Club (DAeC): Member of FAI, EAS, ISAD, EMFU (Memberships relevant for aeromodelling): http://www.daec.de
- Modellflugsportverband Deutschland (MFSD): Member of DAeC: http://www.mfsd.de
- Deutscher Modellflieger Verband (DMFV): Member of ISAD: http://www.dmfv.aero
Further information and useful links
Websites for registration, training etc.