The Digital Platform for Unmanned Aviation (dipul) has been launched and can be found at www.dipul.de (German only for now; will be updated to an English Version). dipul was developed by DFS (German air navigation services) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV). dipul makes available all important information for the operation of drones in Germany. This is also intended to enhance and expand aviation safety even further.
The new platform pools all information, rules and procedures concerning the operation of drones in Germany on one central website for the first time. The geographical flight zones are now also easily viewable online in a map tool. In this way, users always have up-to-date information on how and where they can safely fly their drone.
Dr Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital and Transport: “For some, drones are a hobby, for others they are an economic factor and for still others they are essential tools. About one thing there can be no doubt. Drones are already part of our lives and will be deployed more and more in the future, for example to inspect rail lines, in the logistics sector or during rescue operations. There are clear rules for their safe operation, and everyone must comply with them. From now on, the Digital Platform for Unmanned Aviation will be the one-stop-shop for all amateur and professional drone pilots. The platform will provide them with all important information and for the first time display where and how drones can be used safely on an interactive map. This will make their next planned drone flight even easier and safer for everybody.”
Arndt Schoenemann, CEO of DFS “By launching dipul, DFS and the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport are taking a major step towards the future. The platform brings us closer to safely and equitably integrating unmanned aviation into the airspace. This is made possible by combining two factors. We contribute the high level of safety from our core business of manned aviation and also provide technology that we are already developing for unmanned aviation. The result is a digital and modern platform that delivers numerous useful applications for unmanned aircraft systems in an easy and efficient way. This is what the future looks like.”
Components of the new platform from January 2022:
- Map Tool: From now on, drone operators can view all geographical zones in Germany online in an interactive map. This shows operators at a glance where drones can be used safely and the rules they must follow. This makes it easier for users to plan where they can safely fly their drone.
- Data interface: The geospatial reference data of the geographical zones are provided via the Web Map Service (WMS). This is based on gridded data, which are displayed as map tiles or as metadata. The resulting uniform data base will also make it possible to support new business models in the future.
- Drone knowledge base: The knowledge base makes available all relevant data for the safe operation of drones, e.g. on certificates of knowledge, online registration and licences. The information will be continuously updated and expanded. Thus, users will always have access to the latest information to help them obtain the essential knowledge required for the safe operation of drones.
By the end of 2022, the following additional components are to be implemented:
- Online applications and authorisations: dipul is to provide online access to all relevant forms, applications and information for the operation of drones in Germany as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for all federal states. The applications can be completed and submitted online. This is particularly important for drone operations in the ‘specific’ category, which includes flights for medical applications.
- Route planner: When applying for operations in the ‘specific’ category, which require authorisation, operators have to specify where they want to fly their drones. The route planner will provide an easy way to map and download the area of operation. This will also simplify, standardise and accelerate the authorisation procedures.
- Weather data: On dipul, drone pilots will be able to see local weather data provided by the German Meteorological Service (DWD) and check the 3-day forecasts. In this way, drone operators will always know the current weather situation and when they will be able to fly their drones safely.
In dipul, an important measure from the 2020 action plan on drones and air taxis is being implemented.
Action plan of the Federal Government on drones and air taxis: Action plan
Telefon: 06103 / 707-4162
DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with around 5,600 employees as at 31 December 2021. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,200 air traffic controllers guide more than three million flights through German airspace in peak years, up to 10,000 every day. The company operates control centres in Bremen, Karlsruhe, Langen and Munich as well as control towers at the 15 designated international airports in Germany. The subsidiary DFS Aviation Services GmbH markets and sells products and services related to air navigation services, and provides air traffic control at nine regional airports in Germany and at London Gatwick Airport and Edinburgh Airport in the UK. DFS is working on the integration of drones into air traffic and has set up a joint venture, Droniq GmbH, with Deutsche Telekom. Other subsidiaries include R. Eisenschmidt GmbH, which markets publications and products for general aviation, and Kaufbeuren ATM Training GmbH (KAT), which provides training for military air traffic services personnel. The joint venture FCS Flight Calibration Services GmbH offers flight inspection services.