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In July 2009, the German government conceded that "There are currently no regulations at the European or national levels for the commercial use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles". [40] The lack of regulation is a barrier to their airborne deployment: UAVs generally have to be deployed in non-controlled airspace, at a weight of under 5 kilograms (micro or mini-UAVs), be in sight of the pilot (around 2.7 km distance) and fly at a maximum height of 20 metres, although there are exceptions for police and military "special tasks". [41] To date, only Saxony regional state has issued a general flying permit under the Air Traffic Act or rather the Air Traffic Regulation for private persons. [42] Questions posed by researchers, lobby organisations and UAV producers regarding their legality and security remain unanswered. The Institute for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT) describes a "paradoxical situation" in which "Germany is in an excellent position [to develop] this future technology, which it should retain and extend...Yet, it is non-existent in science, technological development and practice" [43]. The reasons, according to the Institute, are a "narrowly-led technology community" and "partially faulty development strategies that immediately aim at mass markets and big technologies." [44]

Flight research

Research cooperation in the UAV business follows the same logic as that of other research areas in the military and commercial security sector at the national, European and international levels. It should be noted that technology acceptance research on UAVs is not very developed due to the lack of regulations governing their production, operation and use. [45] This lack of definition results in (aviation) regulatory gaps [46] as well as technical and technological problems over deployment (mutual recognition, "see/sense&avoid"). [47] Commercial security research underlies the same four dominant innovation-political aims that currently apply, namely: 1) inclusion of end-users (state, private), 2) comprehensive multi-disciplinary issues (engineering, the natural and social sciences and humanities), [48] 3) the creation of leading markets (interlocking of security, economic and innovative politics) and 4) acceptance (societal dialogue). [49]

So far, three UAV research projects have been financed by German federal ministries. Two projects were funded by the transport ministry: one in 2006, on mutual recognition and one in 2007 on the integration of UAVs in civil managed airspace. In 2009, the interior ministry contracted the Federal Police (Bundespolizei) for a project "to validate UAVs for their integration into airspace (Validierung von UAS zur Integration in den Luftraum, VUSIL)". [50]

Two more projects are financed by the Federal Ministry for Research programme on "Research for civil security". With around one million euro per annum each, the three-year projects are looking into, firstly, two civil deployment possibilities for UAVs in emergency situations. This project is carried out by a number of technical universities, the microdrones GmbH, GIS Consult GmbH and GfG Gesellschaft für Gerätebau mbH companies, as

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