Drone regulation

Drone regulation

Drone regulation

Switzerland will take over the new European drone regulation. It will come into force on 1 January 2021 . From this date, drone pilots will be obliged to register.

Switzerland takes over EU drone regulation

The FOCA has begun implementing the European regulation. This will enable drone pilots to fly according to the same rules throughout European airspace in future.

The rapid growth of drone technology in the European Union has already reinforced the call for uniform legislation for unmanned aerial vehicles years ago. In 2015, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) began work on comprehensive European drone regulation. Switzerland was also able to participate actively in this work as a non-EU member. The new regulation, which will also be implemented in Switzerland from 1 January 2021, allows the cross-border transfer of drone technology and thus creates a basic prerequisite for the growing drone industry. The uniform legislation will also make it easier for recreational pilots to use their drone in neighbouring countries.

Key points in brief

  • Mandatory registration obligation
  • Anyone operating a drone with a flight weight of 250 g or more must register from 1 January 2021 and take an online test. Owners of drones under 250 g must also register if they are equipped with a camera or can process other personal data.
  • Maximum flight altitude 
  • New in the open category is a maximum flight altitude of 120 meters above ground. As before, the drone must be operated in direct visual contact.
  • Minimum age 16 years. The EU regulation provides for a minimum age of 16 years for the independent operation of drones. This can be reduced by the national supervisory authorities to a maximum of 12 years.
  • Small drones - without restriction. Small drones under 250 g flight weight can be operated without restrictions unless they are equipped with a camera.
Map of the Federal Office for Civil Aviation

Where can I fly everywhere?

The Federal Office of Civil Aviation will show you the zones with restrictions for model aircraft and drones and the official aeronautical map of Switzerland.