Air traffic control clearances

Keeping the skies safe together

Would you like to operate a drone or release sky lanterns or (toy) balloons in the immediate vicinity of one of our airports (approx. 15 km)? For a party, for example? Are you planning a fireworks display near an airport or would you like to use a high-power spotlight? Are you planning a parachute jump in one of our control zones? If so, then you have come to the right place.

Air sports and recreational activities in the vicinity of a commercial airport can have an impact on existing air traffic. It is therefore necessary to register such activities with the competent air traffic control unit, which is usually the aerodrome control unit (tower). It can assess whether your activities pose a hazard to air traffic safety and can issue you with the permission required for your project at short notice (usually by telephone), subject to conditions as required.

DFS Aviation Services is the responsible aerodrome control unit and thus your right contact for particular air traffic clearances in the control zones, i.e. within a radius of approximately 15 km around the following airports:

    • Braunschweig-Wolfsburg (BWE/EDVE)
    • Dortmund (DTM/EDLW)
    • Friedrichshafen (FDH/EDNY)
    • Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB/EDSB)
    • Lahr (LHA/EDTL)
    • Memmingen (FMM/EDJA)
    • Mönchengladbach (MGL/EDLN)
    • Paderborn-Lippstadt (PAD/EDLP)
  • Weeze/Niederrhein (NRN/EDLV)

For the other airports in Germany, you can turn to DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH.

FAQ

In the following FAQs we will show you the necessary criteria and steps depending on the planned aviation activity:

Air sports and recreational or leisure aviation activities in an aerodrome control zone around an airport must be registered and require an air traffic control clearance. Control zones are defined individually for each airport. They extend approximately 15 km around an aerodrome and are controlled airspace. This means all aircraft movements and other aviation activities are handled by air traffic control and are therefore generally subject to clearance.

This applies to large international airports (such as Munich) as well as small- and medium-sized regional airports (such as Memmingen) and military aerodromes (such as Nordholz).

As the responsible air navigation service provider, DFS Aviation Services is responsible for air traffic control clearances within a radius of approximately 15 km around the airports it serves:

  • Dortmund (DTM/EDLW)
  • Friedrichshafen (FDH/EDNY)
  • Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB/EDSB)
  • Lahr (LHA/EDTL)
  • Memmingen (FMM/EDJA)
  • Mönchengladbach (MGL/EDLN)
  • Paderborn-Lippstadt (PAD/EDLP)
  • Weeze/Niederrhein (NRN/EDLV)

In all other cases, you need to turn to DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH.

Please submit your application at least 10 working days in advance.
We cannot guarantee that applications with less lead time will be processed.

You need an air traffic control clearance for the following aviation activities:

  • Unmanned aircraft systems (drones), model aircraft
  • Balloons (toy balloons)
  • Fireworks
  • Laser and high-power projectors
  • Releasing sky lanterns (also known as Kongming lanterns, Chinese lanterns, sky balloons, etc. )
  • Use of kites, captive balloons, probes and rocket models
  • Air shows, photo and calibration flights, aerobatics with powered aircraft and sailplanes

Below, under applications, you will find all the information on the approval processes for the individual activities.

Flights with model aircraft/unmanned aircraft systems in compliance with the criteria of NfL 2022-1-2670

To simplify the handling of flights with model aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems, DFS Aviation Services has published a general order (Allgemeinverfügung) on the issuance air traffic control clearances at the airports where we operate by means of the Nachrichten für Luftfahrer NfL 2022-1-2670. Provided that the criteria defined are complied with, no further coordination with the aerodrome control unit is required and our clearance is deemed to have been granted.

Please read NfL 2022-1-2670 carefully. If you are unsure whether these rules apply to you, please contact us. Send an e-mail with the following information to bnl@dfs-as.aero:

  • About the person: Full name, telephone number (for queries)
  • About the activity: Type, place (exact address), airport concerned, date & time

An air traffic control clearance issued by DFS Aviation Services does not affect any generally applicable legal provisions. Such provisions remain in force and complying with them remains your responsibility. We, as the competent air traffic control organisation, assume such compliance when issuing a clearance.

In particular, we assume you have checked the need for official permits and authorisations, have permission for the ascent/launch/release from the landowner, possess public liability insurance and comply with data protection regulations and other project-specific requirements.

Please refer to the competent aeronautical authority of the federal state Landesluftfahrtbehörde for information on official provisions.

Applications for official permits and authorisations submitted directly to us will not be processed nor will they be forwarded to other authorities.

Applications

It is already commonplace to use drones and other unmanned aircraft for a wide range of purposes. It is essential, however, that they are integrated safely into our airspace. Nowadays, there are important rules and regulations which drone pilots must comply with. .

Are you new to the world of drones and would you like to get general information on the rules and regulations you have to comply with and receive useful tips?
Under Drones, we have summarised the most important information on drone flights in Germany for you. Do you already know the helpful DFS drone app?

Are you already an experienced drone pilot and would you like to register a planned flight?
You are likely to require an air traffic control clearance issued by us if you plan to launch model aircraft or unmanned aircraft systems up to an altitude of more than 50 metres and/or at a distance of less than 1.5 kilometres from the boundary of an airport.

Under certain circumstances, you may be able to operate in our area of responsibility without a separate clearance. In NfL 2022-1-2670 (Nachrichten für Luftfahrer), DFS Aviation Services has published the criteria which you must comply with to avoid having to notify us of your planned activity in advance. Please read them carefully. Provided that the requirements of NfL 2022-1-2670 are complied with, no further coordination with the aerodrome control unit is required and our clearance is deemed to have been granted.

If you are unsure whether these rules apply to you, please contact us. Then send an e-mail with the following information to bnl@dfs-as.aero:

  • About the person: Full name, telephone number (for queries)
  • About the activity: Type, place (exact address), airport concerned, date & time

Please contact your competent Ordnungsamt (municipal office for public order) directly.

This office will ask DFS Aviation Services for its statement and issue the required special permission. Requests made directly to us will not be processed or forwarded.

Consider the environment: Fireworks have a considerable impact on the environment. With a bit of thought, you can probably come up with something that is just as spectacular but less harmful for our natural environment.

Please contact the competent aeronautical authority (Landesluftfahrtbehörde) directly.

This office will ask DFS Aviation Services for its statement and issue the required special permission. Requests made directly to us will not be processed or forwarded.

The release of such lanterns is forbidden throughout Germany for fire prevention reasons. Rare exceptions are possible in the German States of Hamburg, Saxony-Anhalt and North Rhine-Westphalia.

Send an e-mail with the following information to bnl@dfs-as.aero:

  • About the person: Full name, telephone number (for queries)
  • About the activity: Type, place (exact address), airport concerned, date & time

Send an e-mail with the following information to bnl@dfs-as.aero:

  • About the person: Full name, telephone number (for queries)
  • About the activity: Type, place (exact address), airport concerned, date & time

Would you like to release balloons in the control zone of the airports where we operate? In that case, simply fill in the contact form for balloon releases below and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.

Consider the environment: A romantic, tranquil ascent of balloons may well be beautiful to look at, but it is anything but good for our environment. You can probably come up with something that is just as romantic or tranquil but less harmful for our natural environment.

Contact form for balloon releases

Important note:

This contact for ist only for toy balloon releases.
For all other activities, e-mail us at bnl@dfs-as.aero with the following information:

About the person: Full name, telephone number (for queries)
About the activity: Type, place (exact address), airport concerned, date & time

    Contact data

    Where would you like to release the balloons?


    You can mark the exact location on this map (by placing the red cursor somewhere on the map). The coordinates help with a quick and precise assignment.

    Start date & time (required)

    End date & time (required)

    Number of balloons (required)