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08 June 2016
Due to the fast-growing number of drone operations, Minister of Transport Alexander Dobrindt recently announced the revision of the rules governing the use of civil drones in Germany. According to the minister, such use is not sufficiently regulated (eg, light drones equipped with cameras that can be controlled by smartphones).
The envisaged rules aim to reduce hazards in the airspace and on the ground. It is planned that all devices with a take-off mass of more than 0.5 kilograms – whether for commercial or private purposes – must be marked to enable identification of the user in case of abuse or accidents.
New legislation is being drafted for commercial and private drone use. The key features have already been published by the Ministry of Transport.
Private drone flights will be prohibited:
'Commercial use' will be redefined as follows:
Unquestionably, drone operations have the potential to affect flight safety. Commercial airline pilots have reported numerous near-misses and incidents at airports around the world. However, the actual impact on flight safety compared to incidents caused by laser pointers or bird strikes remains difficult to determine. Airworthiness certification, tracking beacons or collision avoidance systems might make drone use safer.
On the other hand, drone technology offers numerous opportunities and significant potential for development in many industries, while bureaucratic hurdles slow things down. Weighing risks and opportunities and transposing them into legislation will be subject to continuous change. Due to the broad range of unmanned aerial systems, as well as rapid technological progress, it is and will remain an ongoing legislative challenge.
For further information on this topic please contact Katja Helen Brecke or Ulrich Steppler at Arnecke Sibeth Rechtsanwaelte by telephone (+49 69 97 98 85 0) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Arnecke Sibeth website can be accessed at www.arneckesibeth.com.
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