On this page we want to inform you comprehensively about general and special topics. Please make a selection to jump to the respective info topic:
Rules about balloons, drones & UAS, kite flying
Time and again, citizens contact us with a wide variety of concerns about events using airspace.
To make it easier for you to carry out your projects, we provide you with an overview of all the things you need to consider and which contacts, permits or approvals you need from the authorities and air traffic control.
Which airspace is affected?
You can zoom in on the map, search for your location, as well as get details using the arrow in the upper left corner.
Within the Hof control zone(CTR = controlled airspace) there is also an "inner UAS" area(no-fly zone) of 8 x 4 km. In both areas, air traffic control clearances from the Hof area control center (Tower Hof) are always required for projects within the scope of §21 LuftVO.
This does not affect any additional official approvals (e.g. from the air traffic control office, the public order office, the police, etc.).
To make sure you are on the safe side, we have listed the relevant application and contact options below.
Overview application and contact
Balloons inside the CTR
Within CTR Hof , Tower Hof is responsible for ascents of children's balloons.
- Request: YES, online here
- Clearance: YES, clearance will be given by the controller on duty in our tower on the day of ascent by telephone to the applicant at least 10 min before the scheduled time .
Balloons outside CTR
Outside the Hof CTR, Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS) is responsible:
- Motion: YES Online and
- Clearance: YES, if the ascent takes place outside control zones but more than 500 balloons are released at the same time.
Drones & UAS
Within the CTR Hof and 8×4 Km no-fly zone, the Tower Hof is responsible for UAS and drones.
- Request: YES, online here
- Clearance: YES, clearance will be given by the duty controller to the applicant by telephone on the day of ascent at least 10 min before the scheduled time .
The flying of kites/umbrella kites at a distance of less than 1.5 km from the airfield boundary (fence) is forbidden!
Climbing outside this area requires permission from the aviation authority if the tether is longer than 100m.
For rope lengths over 100m, the rope must be identified by flags etc. during daytime.
|Fireworks||At a distance of less than 1,5 Km from the airfield boundary (fence) forbidden!|
Outside this range, when the Ascent altitude exceeds 300 m.
|Northern Bavaria Air Agency, Regulatory Office|
|Laser/high power spotlight||The operation of headlights or optical light signaling devices, especially laser devices, capable of blinding aircraft pilots during approach or departure, require prior permission!||Air Agency Northern Bavaria|
|Tethered balloons||Ascent of tethered balloons require permission if they are held with a tether of more than 30 meters in length||Air Agency Northern Bavaria|
|Sky lanterns||The rise of sky lanterns is in Germany forbidden for fire protection reasons. If you have any questions, please contact your local state aviation authority directly.||Responsible aviation authority, public order office|
Online application for your project
Again and again, it happens that alleged aircraft pilots have flown too low over inhabited areas. Should this become more frequent, noise protection would be affected accordingly.
Please address any inquiries and information on possible noise violations to not to the Tower Court, but to the following authority responsible for us:
Phone: +49 (0)911 52700-39
Fax: +49 (0)911 52700-51
Noise telephone with mailbox: +49 (0)911 28500865
Training flights of the German Armed Forces
We have compiled the most frequently asked questions for you here:
Are military aircraft allowed to use our Hof Airport at all?
When will the next A400M come in for landing?
Unfortunately, we don't know that either.
The Bundeswehr plans its training flights on its own responsibility. In the best case, we receive a general announcement by email and, based on this, a flight plan with a maximum of 1 hour in advance. But also a spontaneous radio message during tactical visual flights shortly before the control zone (CTR) would be sufficient for an approach, but this cannot be planned in advance.
The flight schedules are also not binding until the machines have actually taken off, so there may still be delays or even cancellations of the flight project.
The A400M flew "low" over my house - is it allowed to do that?
In short: Yes!
It should be noted, however, that a large aircraft (e.g. A400M) at the same altitude will always appear lower than a small propeller aircraft due to its size.
Military flights always adhere to the applicable aviation regulations (minimum safety altitude for visual flights), but may also deviate from them. This also applies to flights below the minimum altitude, as other regulations apply here.
In principle, the aircraft fly in a height band of approx. 500 FT (=150m above ground) to 1500FT (= 500m above ground) during visual flights. For the purpose of landing and takeoff, the minimum safety altitude may be undershot.
Since there are no published aerodrome circuits in a control zone like Hof (which are used by the pilot to arrange his landing preparations and are always about 1000 FT higher than the airfield elevation), the pilot arranges his own aerodrome circuit. Unless he receives a corresponding instruction from the tower controller. Thus it happens that a house is flown over during one circuit and not during the next one. All pilots are to avoid larger towns, as far as the performance data of the aircraft permits. Safety first!
Does the A400M adhere to the approach routes? What about noise protection?
The Bundeswehr adheres to all approach and departure procedures just like other aircraft. In the case of visual flight, this applies to keeping to the aerodrome circuit, but also to avoiding overflights of built-up areas as far as this is possible with an aircraft of this size. It can therefore not be completely ruled out that aircraft are perceived as low and loud, but in fact the flight route, aerodrome circuit and approach/departure are within the permitted limits.
How often does the Bundeswehr come for training flights?
According to a statement by the German Armed Forces, they plan to use our airport a maximum of 8 times a month for training purposes for the A400M and C130J Hercules aircraft types.
Why can such large military aircraft land - but passenger planes cannot?
We get this question all the time.
Simply answered, it always makes a difference whether you are conducting an empty flight for training purposes or carrying passengers and their baggage.
In the case of Bundeswehr transport aircraft, no material is loaded for training purposes, or if so, only certain material. The German Armed Forces have their own regulations regarding take-off weight so that operations can be carried out safely and successfully.
In the passenger sector, on the other hand, airlines often set their own additional regulations for operations above and beyond the applicable legal requirements and write them down in the so-called "Flight Operations Manual".
There, the airline specifies, for example, that only airports with active air traffic control, a safety area, instrument approach procedures, obstacle clearance heights and also a minimum runway length depending on the respective aircraft type may be approached. Here, the development from the 1990s onwards was towards large aircraft models of the types Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 etc.. For these types, operation on our runway would be technically possible to some extent, but not economical enough due to further restrictive regulations.
In this context, many citizens also ask:
Why do passenger planes fly on short runways in the Mediterranean and not here?
Without diving too far into the physics of flight: The altitude of the airfield above sea level, temperature, humidity, air pressure and the resulting density altitude are different (better) at sea level than at our altitude of about 600m above sea level. If one would calculate our runway length of 1480m under ideal conditions down to sea level, half of the length would be sufficient there. The difference in altitude alone makes up that much...
What are the frequent military helicopters actually doing in Hof?
As mentioned above, our airport can also be approached by military aircraft at any time.
In addition to flights through our control zone, there are of course landings and takeoffs of military helicopters of various sizes and nationalities.
What are these helicopters doing with us?
Smaller helicopters (e.g. EC35 and EC45) - some also in civilian livery - conduct training flights for future military pilots to/from us under visual and instrument flight rules and use the opportunity between flights for refueling.
Larger helicopters (e.g. CH53 of the German Army, US Army Black Hawks) come for refueling. The two CH53 squadrons in Laupheim and Holzdorf in particular take advantage of this opportunity, as Hof is located exactly halfway along the route.
In addition, Hof has also been used in the past by CH53 helicopters as a refueling base during flights to fight forest fires.