drone rules europe

Now that both the National Council and the Council of States have adopted Motion 20.3916, which calls for traditional model flight to be removed from the new drone regulation, Switzerland must enter into corresponding negotiations with the European Union. The content on this page thus refers to legal bases that are not in force. Even more information can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA).


EU law distinguishes three categories for the operation of drones:


In the open category, drones can be used without a permit if they are flown on sight, remain below 120 m in altitude and have a maximum flying weight of 25 kg. Depending on the weight of the drone, there are restrictions on how close to uninvolved persons it can be flown. The pilot must register with the aviation authority.

In the specific category, drones are operated for which a permit from the aviation authority is required, for example if they are flown out of the pilot's line of sight. As a drone pilot in the special category, theoretical and practical training is mandatory.

The category certified is intended for drone flights with high safety requirements, for example, for passenger transport. Drones in this category have a size of at least 3 meters. The scope of the legal provisions hardly differs from manned aviation.


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The most important rules at a glance


menschenansammlungen I avoid crowds of people

When I fly a drone, I am not allowed to fly over uninvolved persons and crowds of people.



I do not fly higher than 120 meters


When I fly a drone, I keep a maximum flight altitude of 120m above ground, unless I am in possession of an appropriate permit.

sicht I keep visual contact

When I fly a drone, I maintain visual contact with my drone. It is my responsibility to keep enough distance from other aircraft and to take evasive action in time because they cannot see my drone.

einschraenkungen I know the area restrictions

When I fly a drone, I am aware of where it is allowed to fly and where it is not. The drone map helps me to be aware of area restrictions. It shows those areas where it is prohibited or restricted to fly around my drone.

privat I respect the privacy of others

When I fly a drone, I must comply with the legislation on data protection and privacy. Everyone has the fundamental right to protect their privacy, so I never fly low over private property.

versichert I am adequately insured

When I fly a drone, I need to make sure that I am properly insured for my flight. In the event of an accident, liability lies with the drone pilot. I must pay for the damage I have caused.


YES, I can comply with these regulations

Then I fly my drone in the open category. My drone is not subject to licensing. But there is a basic registration obligation of the pilot.

All other regulations are individual and depend on the weight of my drone >> see drone classes C0 to C4.


NO, I cannot comply with these regulations

Then I fly my drone in the specific category.

I have to get my drone flight approved by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) because it poses an increased safety risk.