New official guidelines for UAS in Germany.

The German federal has put together new official guidelines for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (drones) in the 'Drohnen-Verordnung' which will be turned effectively into law on April first 2017.

The official text from the Bundesrat can be downloaded from their website: Vorgangsnummer 39/17] (PDF, original German text).

The European countries are all preparing individual national laws and regulations, that will be overruled once a comprehensive single European law will be put in place.

There is no timeline set for the development and implementation of this single European law that governs UAS.

The new German guidelines don't differ that much from the guidelines currently in place in the Netherlands (my home county), Germany's neighbour on the east.

Main difference is that drones > 250g need to have a fireproof registration plate with name and contact details of the pilot.

Starting from April first 2017, pilots of UAS < 5kg don't need an 'Aufsteigserlaubnis' (AE) or take-off permission anymore.

After a transition period, UAS pilots of aircraft with a take-off weight of >2kg need a Remote Pilot License (Nachweis "bestimmter Kenntnisse"). However, the Luftfahrt Bundesamt hasn't yet certified any institute to issue these licenses.

As far as I could make out the registration is not with the Luftfahrt Bundesamt but purely to be able to find the pilot in case of an incident or accident.

The Dutch Civil Aviation Authority doesn't require recreational UAS to be registered, nor to have contact details attached to the aircraft.

Due to the relatively small size of the Netherlands, less so for Germany, there is much less Class G airspace available for recreational piloting of UASes compared to the USA.

Professional and recreational UAS pilots alike, are trying to lobby to get workable legislation in place.

Due to the number of sovereign nations, it will take some time before a comprehensive single law for UAS will be agreed upon by the EU.

In this case Remote Pilots in the United States have an advantage that there is only one Competent Authority, the FAA, to deal with.

(The information in this article is an short overview of a few major changes in the new regulations put into law on April first 2017. This article is purely meant as general information, for the official and only legal text, please refer to Vorgangsnummer 39/17 of the Bundesrat.)