Germany launches digital platform to provide drone operators with essential flight information

Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV) has launched the Digital Platform for Unmanned Aviation (dipul). The dipul is a development by Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS) on behalf of the ministry to provide a source for all the important information for the use of drones in Germany. This should also further strengthen and expand safety in air traffic, says a media release.

For the first time, the new platform bundles all the information, rules and processes for operating drones in Germany centrally on one website. In a map tool, the geographic flight areas are now easily displayed online. In this way, users always know up-to-date how and where they can fly their drone safely.

Components of the new platform from January 2022:

Map Tool : Drone operators can now view all geographic areas in Germany online on an interactive map. This makes it clear at a glance in which areas drones can be used safely and which rules the operators must comply with. This allows users to easily plan where they can safely fly their drone.

Data interface: The basic geodata of the geographic areas are provided via the Web Map Service (WMS) display service. The basis is raster data, which is displayed as a map section or as metadata. This creates a uniform data basis with which new business models can also be supported in the future.

Drone knowledge database: All relevant information for safe drone operation, such as proof of knowledge, online registration and licenses, is available here. The information is continuously updated and expanded. This means that users always have the latest information at their disposal, with which they can acquire the necessary and important knowledge for safe drone flight.

The following additional components are to be introduced by the end of 2022:

Online applications and permits: All relevant forms, applications and information for the use of drones in Germany are to be bundled centrally online at dipul across all federal states. The applications can be filled out and sent directly online . This is particularly relevant for drone operations in the “special” category, in which flights for medical care take place, for example.

Route planner: For the application in the “special” category, which requires approval, the operators must describe exactly in which area they want their drones to fly. In the future, the operating area can simply be drawn in and downloaded in the route planner. This also simplifies, standardizes and speeds up the approval process.

Weather data: Every drone pilot can see the local weather data from the German Weather Service (DWD) on the dipul and can query three-day forecasts online . This means drone operators always know the current weather and when they can safely fly their drones.

Dr Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport said: “For some, drones are a hobby, for others an economic factor and for still others essential helpers. One thing is clear: drones are already part of our lives and will continue to be used more and more in the future – for example when inspecting railway lines, in logistics or in rescue operations. For their safe operation, there are clear rules that everyone must adhere to. From now on, the Digital Platform for Unmanned Aviation is the central contact point for all hobby pilots and professional drone pilots: The platform provides them with all the important information and shows for the first time on an interactive map where and how drones can be used safely. This will make the next planned drone flight even easier and safer for everyone.

Arndt Schoenemann, CEO of DFS said: “With the operation of the dipul, DFS and BMDV are taking an important step into the future. With it, we are getting ever closer to the safe and fair integration of unmanned aviation into airspace. This is made possible by a combination of two factors: We bring the high level of safety from our core business of manned aviation and also supply technologies that we are already developing for unmanned aviation. The result is a digital and contemporary platform that makes numerous useful applications with unmanned aerial vehicle systems possible easily and efficiently. This is what the future looks like.”

The dipul can be accessed here:

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