The Luftfahrt-Bundesamt (LBA) - founded in 1954 - is the Federal Aviation Office located in Braunschweig and directly subordinated to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).
Based on the Luftverkehrsgesetz (Air Traffic Law), the LBA has been charged by the "Gesetz über das Luftfahrt-Bundesamt" (Law on the Luftfahrt-Bundesamt) with certain tasks in German civil aviation. For this purpose six Regional Offices have been established at the major German airports.
Among other tasks, the LBA is responsible for the supervision of aviation industry. This supervision is limited to companies designing, manufacturing and maintaining aeronautical products which are subject to approval. For a detailed overview follow this link.
This applies to public transportation by air as well as General Aviation (with business and private aeroplanes, helicopters, powered sailplanes, sailplanes, balloons).
In the case of commercial operators, the LBA is exclusively responsible for those operating aircraft. For this purpose the LBA investigates economic capacity, maintenance, flight operations and security measures relating to unlawful interferences.
With respect to personnel, the LBA is responsible for the licensing of airline transport pilots. It is authorised for the supervision of aviation schools, flight simulator training and medical examination centers, for practical and theoretical examinations and the extension of licenses.
The LBA participates in the elaboration of aviation regulations, which are enacted by the BMVI. Implementation orders (DVO) to the regulations are issued by the LBA.
The Bundesstelle für Flugunfalluntersuchung (BFU) (Accidents Investigation Bureau) is technically subordinated to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure. The BFU is responsible for the investigation of accidents to civil German aircraft in Germany and abroad and to foreign aircraft in Germany.
The BFU is only responsible for the investigation of facts, the question of guilt is being clarified by the public prosecutor. The BFU does not participate in the clarification of insurance issues.