Drones are allowed to fly overnight

EU regulation: drones are still not allowed over residential areas

The new EU Regulation 2019/947 has applied to the use of drones since the beginning of the year. It regulates the "regulations and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft" - that is, of model airplanes and drones.

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The new regulations apply not only in the EU, but also in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. And they bring a lot of changes for drone buyers and users. As a result, it should be quite difficult in the future to shoot a video from vacation using a drone.

New EU regulation regulates operation and use

The operation of drones will in future be divided into three operating categories: open, special and subject to approval. Most models are likely to fall under the "open" category. These include drones that:

  • have a takeoff mass of less than 25 kilograms,
  • fly within sight up to a height of 120 meters and
  • Do not transport dangerous goods or drop objects

In addition, there are various sub-categories that regulate the approval and distances of the drones. You can find an overview of the most important innovations on the website of the Federal Ministry of Transport. The interesting thing about the regulation is who is actually allowed to fly such a drone under what conditions in the future. And especially where.

Registration obligation: who will be allowed to use drones in the future?

Anyone who in the future wants a drone weighing less than 250 grams with a camera or another sensor that records personal data or wants to let it rise into the air from 250 grams must:

  • have the small EU drone driving license (EU competence certificate)
  • register as a remote pilot or operator with the Federal Aviation Office (LBA)
  • put a registration number on the drone
  • have insurance

These regulations are likely to apply to most hobby drone pilots. The only exception: the drone is a toy in accordance with the toy directive. However, there are transition periods for both registration and proof of competence. You can find details on the website of the Federal Aviation Office.

Are drones allowed to fly over residential areas?

In principle, drones are not allowed to fly over residential areas. This is regulated by the German Aviation Ordinance (LuftVO). And that still applies in its current version despite the EU regulation.

The LuftVO prohibits in ยง21, Section 7 the use of drones "over residential properties if the take-off mass of the device is more than 0.25 kilograms or if the device or its equipment is able to receive optical, acoustic or radio signals, to transmit or to record it, unless the owner or other beneficial owner affected by the operation above the respective residential property has expressly consented to the overflight ".

In short, drone flights over residential properties are still prohibited without the express permission of the owner. The only exception: drones without a camera and weighing less than 250 grams.

And that will probably not change in the future either. A draft bill by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure to adapt the national regulations to the EU implementing regulation also provides for this ban.

Our final tip: What about the "right to one's own image"? Who is allowed to photograph me and my house in which situation? We talked to an expert about this.