Drone regulations in Switzerland

Flying drones in SwitzerlandSwitzerland 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 demands.

The Swiss drone rules in the overview

In Switzerland, you have to follow the following rules if you want to fly with a multicopter.

Maximum flight altitude: 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.

Maximum horizontal distance and FPV: You should also operate your multicopter 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 an 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.

Compulsory insurance: From a drone weight of 500 grams, liability insurance for drones of at least one million francs is required.

Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): Drones may be launched up to a weight of 30 kilograms without prior authorization.

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

Other safe distances: 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 a coordination with the organizer has taken place.

Flight bans: 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 Swiss Map.

Time of operations: Currently, there is no known temporary restriction on the activity of drones.

Specific regulations: Cantons and municipalities are entitled to make further rules. Zurich has already adopted special regulations.

Regulations for commercial pilots: There is no distinction between private and commercial use in Switzerland.

Helpful links: Federal Office for Civil Aviation, Data Protection & Drones

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!

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