I bought myself a drone. What do I do first?
Study the regulations on the operation of drones in Switzerland.
Study the operating instructions and become familiar with the drone.
Check the liability policy, adjust if necessary.
Can I fly my drone in my quarters and film my house?
In residential neighbourhoods it is important to respect the protection of privacy. Fly your drone in such a way that you do not disturb anyone. Cantons and municipalities may impose further restrictions.
I want to use my drone for recordings in nature?
You do not need a permit for landscape photography if the drone is controlled by sight. Here, too, it is important to respect the protection of privacy and to show consideration for the environment, e.g. bird sanctuaries.
Can I fly my drone anywhere and as high as I want?
No drones may be operated within a distance of 5 km around airports (including heliports) without permission from the airport management or air traffic control. Around some airfields there are control zones (CTR) with a radius of more than 5km. In these zones, drones may fly a maximum of 150m above ground.
When can I fly my drone with video glasses?
When a second person has the drone in sight and can take control at any time.
May I use an autonomous flying drone in Switzerland?
Yes, if you follow some rules:
  • Drones weighing 500g or more may not be flown above a crowd.
  • You must have a visual on the drone.
  • Use of the drone in tracking mode is only permitted if a second person has a direct view of the drone and can intervene at any time.
My brother is getting married next week. Can I film the wedding party from upstairs?
You need a permit to fly over crowds. Without a permit you must keep a minimum distance of 100m from the wedding party.
May I take architectural photographs without the permission of the FOCA?
Yes, as long as you do not fly near crowds of people, do not violate privacy, and your drone is controlled by visual contact. Cantons and municipalities may impose stricter regulations.
What happens if my drone causes damage?
You are liable for any damage caused by your drone. Before the first flight, you must ensure that your liability insurance covers damages of at least 1 million francs. This applies to drones weighing 500g or more.
My drone weighs less than 500g. Are there any restrictions?
I need to have visual contact with the drone and respect other people's privacy. I'm liable in the event of an accident. Flying in protected areas is prohibited.