Where you are allowed to fly your drone in 2023 is the most common question drone pilots ask. Since this is not always obvious, we will clarify the situation in this guide and provide you with all the information you need to answer this question.
Where you are allowed to fly with your drone and where you are not, depends first and foremost on which country you are in. In this article, we will look at the EU in general and Germany and Austria in particular.
If you are familiar with the basics, you can jump straight to the section Where can I fly a drone?
Overview of general EU regulations
The EU Drone Regulation provides the framework for the entire EU. This drone regulation contains overarching regulations for the member states, which apply in all applicable regions. However, each member state has a certain amount of leeway to formulate deviating national regulations.
We recommend that all aspiring drone pilots familiarise themselves with these general regulations, as they provide a holistic overview of all important aspects of drone flying. A brief summary can be found in our article EU Drone Regulation – Summary and Overview.
The following components form the framework of the drone laws:
- Risk categories (Open, Specific, Certified)
- Drone classes (C0-C5)
- Drone licences
- Mandatory registration and eID
Details can be found in the linked articles.
Geozones, also known as geographical areas, are areas defined by the respective member state in which drone flights are only permitted with permission or only subject to compliance with certain conditions, or are completely prohibited. Outside of geozones, drone flights are generally permitted for the time being – as long as no exceptions apply.
Where can I fly a drone?
Once the basics are in place, it is usually a question of whether or not you are allowed to fly a drone in a certain place.
If you are flying in Germany, you will find all the important information about this in §21h of the LuftVO. Yes, it is worth reading and understanding this paragraph. On the basis of the information contained therein, you can then make a decision as to whether it is possible to fly at the desired location. But to make things easier, there are of course interactive maps. For Germany, it is best to use the dipul (Digital Platform for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) map. This can be found at https://maptool-dipul.dfs.de/.
It shows whether a point or a radius is located within the areas defined in §21h and whether a drone flight is therefore prohibited or only permitted with permission. You will also find further information and the exact section of the paragraph in question, so that you can understand the specific regulation.
For Austria, there is also an official map from Austro Control. This can be accessed at https://map.dronespace.at/ and also shows for a specific point whether it is located in an area where drone flight is not possible without further ado. Here, too, drone pilots can obtain additional information
Flight planning apps
To keep track of the numerous regulations, you can also use some apps. Many apps allow a direct display of all regulations relevant to the planned flight area via a location search. This makes it quick and easy to see what you need to observe during a flight, whether and which permits you need and whether you are even allowed to fly in the desired area.
We have compiled a list of what we consider to be the best apps for drone pilots in a corresponding article: The best apps for drone pilots
We have already written separate articles on some typical drone flights, in which we go into the details of the respective scenarios.
Before the first drone flight
The first drone flight is an exciting thing. However, to avoid any unpleasant surprises, a few points should be taken into account. Where am I allowed to fly? Do I need permits? What do I need to consider? These and other questions are answered in the following guide. This way, your first drone flight will be a complete success.
Separate article: Your first drone flight – what you need to know!
Flying drones over other people’s property
One of the first questions that prospective drone pilots ask is certainly whether they are allowed to fly their drone over other people’s property. The answer to this is quite clear.
Separate article: Flying your drone over other people’s property – allowed or not?
Allowing a drone to fly on your own property
Another common question new drone pilots ask: Am I allowed to fly my drone on my own property? The following article will provide you with the answer.
Separate article: Flying a drone on your own property
Flying a drone on New Year’s Eve
What about flying a drone on New Year’s Eve? What is allowed? What is prohibited? We’ll tell you.
Separate article: Flying drones on New Year’s Eve – prohibitions and information
Flying a drone in bad weather
Since it’s not always sunny, sooner or later you’ll be faced with the question of whether you’re allowed to fly your drone in bad weather. After all, you can take atmospheric pictures even in bad weather. The following guide should provide you with some assistance.
Separate article: Flying a drone in bad weather – what to bear in mind
Flying a drone at night / twilight
Can you fly a drone at night or at dusk? There are clear rules on this. We tell you what you need to be aware of and what is allowed.
Separate article: Flying a drone at night / twilight – Permitted or not?
Commercial drone flights
Owners of a drone will probably sooner or later start thinking about using their drone for commercial purposes. This means taking aerial photographs for a fee. In this article, you can find out what there is to consider when it comes to commercial drone flights.
Separate article: Commercial drone flights – all the important info
All information compiled here reflects the current status at the time of publication of this article and comes from the following sources.
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