Registration and qualification
Private individuals and companies must comply with the following requirements for drone operation:
In principle, a distinction first has to be made between UAS operator and remote pilot.
A UAS operator intends to operate a drone. A remote pilot, on the other hand, is the person who actually controls the flight of the drone. If private individuals are operating a drone, the operator and the remote pilot are the same person.
Pursuant to section 66a(3) of the LuftVG (German only), UAS operators are obliged to register with the Federal Aviation Office (LBA) if they want to operate a drone with a take-off mass of more than 249 g. Registration is also necessary to operate drones weighing less than 250 g equipped with a sensor to collect personal data, such as a (video, photo, infrared) camera, microphone etc..
Further information and the possibility to register as an operator is provided by the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (German only).
The following information/documents are required for operator registration:
Natural person / Private individual
After being registered as operator, every UAS operator receives an electronic registration number (e-ID). Only one e-ID is assigned per person in order to ensure unique identification. All drones belonging to that person are then marked with this number.
As a remote pilot in the ‘open’ category, you are obliged to obtain the EU certificate of competency (A1/A3) or the EU certificate of remote pilot competency (A2). Such proof of competency must be available before the first UAS flight, provided the UAS has a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of at least 250g. Below 250 g MTOM, no proof of competencyy is required, but completion of the EU certificate of competency (A1/A3) is recommended.
EU certificate of competency
The Federal Aviation Office provides appropriate training courses and an online test (German only) to obtain the EU certificate of competency.
Certificate of remote pilot competency
In addition, remote pilots who want to operate in subcategory A2 must hold an EU certificate of remote pilot competency (German only). For this purpose, a further theory test has to be passed, among other things, which builds on the first one. For this purpose, the Luftfahrtbundesamt provides a list of recognized testing centers for taking the test (German only).