Sat, Jan. 18, 2014

German Law: Ready for Drones

CK - Washington. With statutory amendments to the aviation act in 2012 and regulatory implementations in 2013, Germany is somewhat ahead of the United States in establishing a legal framework for the civilian and commercial use of drones.

The regulations revised after the amendment to the federal aviation statute classify drones up to a weight of 25 kilograms in section 6(2) as aerial vehicles partially exempt from the demanding standard approval process for aircraft. Section 34 addresses the licensing of drone operators by applying a minimal standard, such as qualifications obtained in a club setting. Section 66 transfers authority for permitting of non-commercial operations to the states, i.e. Länder. Chapter 10 of the regulations addresses the import or transfer of unmanned aerial vehicles, among other aircraft, into German airspace or territory. Section 99 governs the insurance requirements for foreign aircraft and may affect also drones brought into Germany. Section VI (3) of Schedule 1 to the regulations, Luftverkehrs-Zulassungs-Ordnung, contains a rule for the permanent marking of the drone with owner information.

Another overview, in German, of permits, licenses, distances, required insurance coverage and many more practical and legal details, is found in Solmecke, Die rechtlichen Probleme des Einsatzes von zivilen Drohnen--i.e. Legal Issues in the Use of Civilian Drones. The broad overview also covers privacy, copyright, criminal sanctions and data protection laws as they relate to the deployment of civilian drones in Germany.

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