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.

As already said, the rules for the use of drones are very liberal in Switzerland. However, the public is very sensitized, and many pilots describe that the police intervene quite quickly. Therefore, it is always advisable to have a printout of the current rules as well as a map with airfields in the area. So you have a better position when it comes to questions.

Please note that Switzerland, as a member of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), adopts the EU drone regulation, which will enter into force on 31 December 2020. Information about the new rules can be found in our overview article and on the pages linked there.

Overview: Drone rules in Switzerland

Recreational use of drones allowed? Yes, without further requirements
Commercial use of drones permitted? Yes, without further requirements
Maximum Altitude:150 Meter (492,1 Foot) in uncontrolled airspace.
Is drone insurance mandatory? Yes, for private and commercial drone flights. Learn more about drone insurance here.
Does the drone need a badge?No.
Drone labels can be ordered here
Is a registration necessary? No.
Keep distance to airports
Respect the privacy of other people
Contact information

Federal Office of Civil Aviation: [email protected]

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Further rules for drone pilots in Switzerland

Within a control zone (CTR), the drone is allowed to fly a maximum of 150 meters high as long as the distance of 5 kilometers to an airport is maintained. Also outside the control zones, I recommend not to fly above 150 meters. However, a legal limit is not known to me.

You should also operate your copter in remote areas only in the visual line of sight. If you are running FPV flights with a monitor or video glasses, a spotter must keep an eye on the drone and be in direct contact with you. Besides, the spotter requires their own remote control, which can directly influence the drone’s flight behavior. For FPV flights with video glasses outside the visibility, a special license is required by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA). Meanwhile, several readers have pointed out to me that these rules are known to many civilians in Switzerland and are often controlled. That is why I emphasize these requirements especially here. The fact that I do not explicitly list the visibility rules for other countries does not mean that these rules do not apply.

From a drone weight of 500 grams, liability insurance for drones of at least one million francs is required. You should always have proof of insurance with you.

Drones may be launched up to a weight of 30 kilograms without prior authorization, drones under 500 grams may even fly near airports. But in those areas, we recommend using common sense.

Safety distances and flight bans

You have to keep a distance of 5 kilometers to airports in Switzerland.

A distance of at least 100 meters shall be maintained to gatherings of people of more than 24 persons. During model sports events or airshows, drones may be flown despite crowds, if coordination with the organizer has taken place. Do not fly over military property.

Cantons and municipalities are entitled to make further rules. There is a drone ban near public buildings (radius of 300 meters) in the Canton of Geneva.

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”.

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 a Yuneec Typhoon H. On our blog we share the best tips for you about travelling with a copter. If you have questions about this article or new information, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment!

Discussions

  • 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

    Hi,
    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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