Drone regulations in Switzerland

Flying drones in Switzerland

Switzerland regulates the handling of drones quite uncomplicatedly. Here you find the regulations for copter pilots in Switzerland.

Since the beginning of 2023, Switzerland has now also adopted the rules of the European Drone Ordinance. This has largely harmonized the rules for remote pilots. You only have to register as an operator in one European country (in most cases in the country where you live) and your EU drone license is recognized across countries.

If you want to register in Switzerland, you can do so via this link.

Overview of the European rules that apply in Switzerland

In Switzerland, the regulations of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) apply. The following is a summary of the key facts. For a complete overview, read our article on the new EU drone regulation.

Is registration necessary? Registration is mandatory for all drone operators, unless the drone weighs less than 250 grams and is NOT equipped with sensors to collect personal data (e.g. camera, microphone). Drones that fall under the EU Toys Directive are also exempt. The registration is recognized in all countries that have also introduced the EU Drone Regulation.
LabelsAll drones must be visibly marked with the individual registration number (e-ID). If available, the number must also be loaded into the drones remote identification system. More info on drone badges
Drone licence:Depending on the category, pilots must take exams to obtain the EU drone licence. These are recognised in all countries that have also introduced the EU Drone Regulation.
Differentiation by category: Open Category (with three subcategories), Specific Category and Certified Category; no distinction between private and commercial pilots.
Maximum Altitude:120 Meter in uncontrolled airspace in Open Category.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people

National peculiarities in Switzerland

Each country can define certain aspects of its drone regulations. For Switzerland, the following requirements apply in addition to the European regulations.

Is drone insurance mandatory? Yes, coverage of at least CHF 1 million for drones heavier than 250 grams. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Minimum age for remote pilots12 years
Contact information

Federal Office of Civil Aviation: [email protected]

Further rules for drone pilots in Switzerland

From a drone weight of 250 grams, liability insurance for drones of at least one million francs is required. You should always have proof of insurance with you.

Safety distances and flight bans

Within a control zone (CTR), the drone may fly at a maximum height of 120 meters, as long as the distance to an airport of 5 kilometers is maintained.

In addition to the already existing geo-zones around airports and in wildlife protection areas, the following geo-zones have been added in Switzerland with the entry into force of the new EU Drone Regulation:

  • Military infrastructure
  • Airfield Perimeter
  • Nuclear power facilities
  • Certain energy infrastructures
  • Enforcement facilities
  • Cantonal areas

Flight ban zones are shown on this interactive map. Alternatively, you can identify other restricted areas such as nature reserves and bird reserves with the app “swisstopo”. Keep in mind that cantons are entitled to make further regulations to reduce the environmental impact and the danger to people and things on earth.

Note: The small, light drones have one advantage! In most air traffic zones (pink), flying drones weighing less than 250 grams is allowed.

Exemption permits can be applied for at the responsible office. A link with further information about the no-fly zone can be found in the respective info box. This is displayed when you click on the zone on the map.

In addition to the restricted areas, changes in airspace in Switzerland are announced via NOTAMs (Notice to Airmen). These partly also apply to drone operators! You can view a map and the NOTAMs in the DABS. These are updated daily at 4pm for the following day.

Minimum age

The minimum age of drone pilots can be set by each country itself. Compared to other countries, Switzerland has set this very low. In the open category, the minimum age for drone operation is 12 years and for operation in the special category it is 14 years. Children under 12 are allowed to fly under the supervision of a person who is at least 16 years old and has the appropriate skills.

We have researched the listed drone regulations for Switzerland to the best of our knowledge. We can not guarantee the correctness of the information. If you want to be on the safe side, please contact the competent aviation authority. Alternatively, you can also ask the embassy in your country for further information about the regulations. Please leave us a comment when you receive news and/or gain experience with your copter in Switzerland!

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About the author

Since January 2015, we travel around the world. In our backpack we carry a camera drone which we use to capture the best places from a bird’s perspective. First we travelled with a DJI Phantom 2. But now we use several drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ or the DJI Mini 3 Pro. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a drone. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!


  • Urban karma | 29.10.2017

    Great info on your site keep up great work

    • Francis Markert | 22.02.2018

      Thank you, Urban!

  • Pascal | 24.02.2018

    With drones < 500g there are only the nature reserve flight ban zones except these you can fly literally everywhere! (This is very liberal!)

  • Andreas | 28.03.2018

    Exemptions for Flights within the 5km Range of Airports can be arranged by contacting the Airport.
    The current Map provieded by map.geo.admin.ch includes the No-Fly Zone of Natural Reserves.
    DABS (Daily Airspace Bulletin Switzerland) should be checked on a daily bases in order to check for temporary NoFly Zones for ex. due to Military usage (www.skybriefing.com)

    • Francis Markert | 28.03.2018

      Hi Andreas,
      Thanks for your input on this article!

  • Rodney Lesley | 20.06.2018

    Headed to Switzerland next week (Interlaken). Any suggestions on companies that I should look to for liability insurance. I have a DJ1 Mavi Pro.

    • Leslie | 09.10.2018

      Going there in January. Did you end up flying your Mavic there? If so, do you mind sharing any important info on how to do so? Also, did you find a good place for insurance? Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  • Thomas | 03.08.2018

    The link to “Data Protection & Drones” is dead!

    • Francis Markert | 26.10.2018

      Oh thanks, I update the link!

  • Christian | 24.06.2020

    I’m an expat in Switzerland and added the drone insurance to my normal household goods insurance, it was about $10 US for the required 1M CHF and they send a small insurance card I’m required to carry when operating the drone.

    I don’t know if or how it is possible to get it for a visitor.

    Great site, thanks!

    • Drone Traveller Team | 28.06.2020

      Hey Christian,
      Thank you for your comment. We are not sure what you mean by household goods insurance, so we just want to clarify as to not confuse other readers. Usually, drones are added to the personal liability insurance (“Assurance responsabilité civile” in French, “Haftpflichtversicherung” in German or “Assicurazione di responsabilità civile” in Italian) to cover any damage the owner may cause to others. There is another insurance which only covers your own property in case of damage or loss/theft. This one is called something like household (contents) insurance. These two types of insurance may be combined to create one plan but we always recommend making sure that the insurance really covers everything required by law, which usually means that your insurance will pay if you and your drone cause injury or damage to other people or their property (=liability).

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