The drone laws in Germany are pretty much the same as the European law on drones. Here, the Federal Aviation Office (also known as FAO) governs the German skies. As long as you follow the general rules and regulations as either a commercial or recreational, you shouldn’t worry about the government pinpointing you.
The best part when it comes to the German law on drones is that you do not ever need to register at the FAO at all if you own a drone. But, you will need a permit if you plan on flying drones at night and a license to fly any type of drone.
While you may not register for your drone, you do need to sign up for drone insurance since this is mandatory in the country. You are required to write the intended use, coverage, number of drone users, number of copters, flight areas, the scope of drone insurance (how far do you want the drone to travel with you) and the price.
Non-registration is applicable to both recreational and commercial drone users; meaning you can buy a drone right now and start flying later if you feel like it. Just remember the general rules, which I will explain in the next segment.
Their website is a bit difficult to navigate, but I managed to break down the most important rules to follow. Arguably, the rules and regulations on droning in Germany significantly lighter than in the USA. You can fly nearer to airports, events and people, as long as you maintain the proper distance level. Nevertheless, here are the important rules to follow:
In 2013, someone was taking photos of Chancellor Angela Merkel while she was in a press conference. Police immediately identified the suspect as one of the activists of the Pirate Party. Immediately, he was sent to jail. But after explaining to the cops that he was only doing it for fun and nothing else because he had no ill motifs, he was released.
Even if you do not plan on flying near celebrities, politicians, or corporate heads and you are merely taking pictures of random people, you are still eligible for jail as this is a form of obstruction of privacy.
Basically, Germany follows the exact rules of drone laws in Europe. Recently, there have been changes to the rules including stricter registrations and shortening altitudes for safety. This may also affect Germany’s laws on drones. According to Airport-Technology,
“At first glance, the new common rules will make operating drones commercially and recreationally across European borders easier and safer. As the EU Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) points out, the requirement that drones be registered and individually identifiable will both reduce the likelihood of another major incident like the one at Gatwick in 2018, and make it much easier to trace the owner.”
Generally, Germany has enough zones where you can legally fly your drone at any time. If you want, you can always join drone festivals or hotspots to experience droning without the hassle of strict rules.
Germany lets you fly without a permit if the drone weighs less than 5kg. USA lets you fly without registration if your drone weighs less than 250g.
You can only fly up to 100 meters or 328 feet under uncontrolled airspace
In German law, you may proceed to fly without a license but you are required to register for a drone insurance?
Yes. The Federal Aviation Office of Germany follows the exact protocols of other EU drone laws.
The exemption from registration only applies if you will only fly during the day. Night flights strictly require a license.