German Aerospace Center opens UAS geo-zone for testing

June 24, 2024
Enables both DLR researchers and external drone operators to quickly test and develop Unmanned Aircraft Systems in real-life operations, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) reports.

HECKLINGEN, Germany - With a view to testing the use of drones in offshore wind farms, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) will be using a geo-zone at the National Experimental Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems in June 2024 to expand drone operations in the open category. The establishment of this special geographical area makes it possible to fly drones with a take-off mass of up to 800 kilograms outside the direct field of vision at Cochstedt Airport, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) reports. 

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The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

24 June 2024 -Despite their expanding applications, drones face special restrictions in specific areas, particularly near airports and their surrounding regions. These restricted zones, known as geo-zones or geographical UAS (Uncrewed Aerial System) areas, dictate where drone operations can be facilitated, restricted, or entirely excluded. The German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr; BMDV) designates these geo-zones in accordance with section 21h of the German Rules of the Air Regulations.

In June 2024, DLR's National Experimental Test Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems at Cochstedt Airport will establish a geo-zone for drones in the 'extended open category,' marking the first of its kind. This will enable drones to operate within specified boundaries without needing special authorization. The DLR Institute of Flight Systems, in collaboration with the German Federal Aviation Office (Luftfahrtbundesamt; LBA), has developed the necessary framework and submitted the application for this geo-zone to the BMDV.

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Jamie Whitney, Senior Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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