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All Drone Laws in Switzerland for 2023 (Complete Guide)

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
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height flight limit 1

150m max height

cant fly over crowds of people 1

Don't fly over crowds

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5km from airports

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Within line of sight

Switzerland is a beautiful country with green forests, fresh lakes, mountains, and clear skies. Just the perfect recipe for flying drones overhead. The Swiss recently adopted the EU 2020 regulations on drones and should kick in this July 2020. Our guide to drone laws in Switzerland outlines how to remain updated with the latest drone laws in the country

Can I bring a drone to Switzerland?

There’s no such law that prevents bringing drones to Switzerland. However, the passenger must observe all the laws and regulations. 

Who is the drone regulating Authority in Switzerland?

Switzerland comes under the European Union so if you want to fly a drone in Switzerland you have to be compliant with both, the EU and National drone laws of Switzerland.

  1. European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
  2. Federal Office for Civil Aviation, FOCA. 

However, as for the current situation, Switzerland has delayed the implementation of the EASA regulations until there is a resolution related to model aircraft. During the transition period,  drone regulations will continue to follow the current FOCA regulations. Those regulations are identified separately below. 

Here's how you can contact the officials for more information.

Telephone: +41 58 465 8039

Email rpas@bazl.admin.ch

Is it Legal to fly drones in Switzerland?

According to FOCA, the Federal office for Civil Aviation, it is legal to fly a drone in Switzerland as far as you are aware and compliant with the drone regulations.

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General Drone Rules in Switzerland:

You can do pretty much anything in Switzerland as long as you ask for permission.

 Based on our research and interpretation of the laws, here are the most important rules to know for flying a drone in Switzerland.

  • You must not pose any risk to people and animals during the drone operation 
  • You must comply with the law at all times.
  • The pilot must be competent to use and have complete control of the drone
  • You must respect others' privacy. You must take permission before filming anybody’s personal property.
  • Drones cannot be used for hunting.
  • You must seek permission from local authorities before filming around any area.
  • Avoid oncoming aircraft
  • You must have third-party insurance coverage of 1 million (Swiss francs) when flying a drone over 500g.
  • You must obtain a permit from FOCA if you want to use binoculars on any such visual aid to improve your sight.
  • As far as the pilot has direct eye contact with the drone, there is no need for a permit.
  • Do not fly close to a disaster or emergency area. For instance, taking aerial footage where an accident has occurred can impede a helicopter rescue operation.
  • Do not fly over people congregated. Flying over large crowds (over 100 people) needs FOCA authorization.
  • You can use FPV provided the drone remains within line of sight.
  • Any aircraft weighing over 30 Kg needs FOCA authorization. 
  • You must obtain a permit to fly anywhere within 5 Km of airports or helipads
  • You must obtain a permit to fly over 150 meters above the surface.

How can I register as a drone operator in Switzerland?

According to EASA, you must get registered as a drone operator to fly a drone in Switzerland.

The registration procedure will begin once the EASA is implemented and identified by FOCA.

This UAS operator registration number is valid for one year therefore, it must be renewed every year through the same procedure. The operator registration number remains the same this way forever, except that the operator is being deregistered from the registered for any reason.

As per the current scenario, until the EASA implements its rules, the following are the requirements to register yourself as a drone pilot or drone operator in Switzerland:

  1. You need to take a safety test on which basis FOCA will exempt your drone from registration.
  2. You need to provide the description of your intended operation and the details of the drone that is going to be used for that.
  3. You need to provide risk assessments and measures that will be taken to handle any emergencies.
  4. The assessment of the current reliability of your equipment and a contingency plan in case of any incident must be mentioned.
  5. A copy of the insurance policy.

Subject to the nature and scope of your intended operation, your drone’s certification will cost between 50 and 5,000 Swiss Francs. The registration procedure might take at least three months for you to get your permit, so it is advised to keep the timeline in mind while planning your trip and booking the entries.

Current drone Laws for Recreational drone operations:

In Switzerland hobbyist/ recreational drones are allowed to be flown by following these set of rules:

  1. No special permits are required to fly drones for recreational purposes.
  2. The drone must not be flown at a height of more than 150m. If you want to fly your drone higher than that you must obtain a special permit for that.
  3. The drone must be in the visual line of sight at all times.
  4. The drone’s maximum take-off weight must not exceed 30 kg without a special permit. If you want to fly a heavier drone, you need proper authorization before that.
  5. The pilot does not need any competence certificate or license to operate the drone for recreational purposes.
  6. There are no labeling requirements
  7. You must have your drone insured. The minimum coverage limit is 1,000,000 Swiss francs.

Current drone Laws for Commercial drone operations:

In Switzerland commercial drones are allowed to be flown by following these set of rules:

  1. No special permit is allowed except for the ones mentioned above in general rules
  2. The drone must not be flown at a height of more than 150m. If you want to fly your drone higher than that you must obtain a special permit for that.
  3. The drone must be in the visual line of sight at all times.
  4. The drone’s maximum take-off weight must not exceed 30 kg without a special permit. If you want to fly a heavier drone, you need proper authorization before that.
  5. You can only fly in the daytime.
  6. There are no labeling requirements
  7. You must have your drone insured. The minimum coverage limit is 1,000,000 Swiss francs.
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What are my top drones to fly safely in Switzerland?

My following two recommendations are 2 great compact drones that are quite silent and also small enough to travel with and not stand out as annoying.

1. DJI Mini 2- The best international travel drone (under 250g)

camera-icon-spec

4k

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31 min

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10 km

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No follow-me

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DJI has surprised us with this incredible camera drone under 250g, which is legal to fly in most countries without registration.

It comes at a very cheap price for its incredible specs.I have covered it much more in-depth in my article review and even compared it with the Mavic Air 2.

2. DJI Mavic Air 2 - My favorite drone overall

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4k 60p

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34 min

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10 km

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Follow me

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If you want more control over things like shutter speed, iso, and such, the best professional drone that still falls under the 500g category is the DJI Mavic Air.

It's made mostly for people who want to play around with settings and enter into the pro category.

DJI lowered its price since it was first released.

Restricted Areas and Geofencing (Drone Flying map)

The best way to figure out what areas you can fly in, while you're here is by consulting DJI's official map.

They do a great job mapping the places that one should avoid while flying in every country:

  • airports
  • military bases
  • prisons
  • power plants
  • any high-risk areas

These would be the current updated drone laws for Switzerland. I suggest checking my full map with all the countries' drone laws to see where it's best to travel.

Conclusion 

If you are going to visit Switzerland, make sure you’ve learned all the dos and don’ts of flying drones in this region. This will help you have a safe journey and enjoy flying your drone without getting yourself into trouble.

Also, keep in mind that, commercial and recreational drones are treated differently in most countries therefore you will need to prepare yourself accordingly. Last but not least, always follow rules and regulations and make sure to respect the laws of every country.

author-paul-posea-picture
Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.
paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.

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