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I fly my drone safely

I am flying safely, therefore
  • Do I know the laws and stick to them
    The Ordinance on Special Category Aircraft VLK 748.941 is relevant for Switzerland. Like model airplanes, drones belong to the category of unmanned aerial vehicles. The Data Protection Act regulates privacy, plus there are bans on drones in special nature reserves and local restrictions.
  • I can control my drone safely
    Drones simulate fully automatic control. But will I also be able to safely control and land my drone by hand if the automatic system fails? Am I aware that low temperatures and strong winds affect the flight behavior of my drone? Do I do a quick check of the drone, especially the rotors, before I put it into operation?
  • I respect the privacy of others
    For the operation of drones, the data protection act and the civil law anchored protection rights of privacy apply. That's why I never fly my drone low over private property or over public places where people are.
  • I am not endangering people or animals
    Even with a smaller drone, the high-speed rotors can lead to serious cuts. If a drone crashes, people on the ground can be injured. Animals panic quickly from low-flying drones, which can lead to secondary damage. It is therefore advisable to fly considerately.
  • I don't fly in closed nature reserves
    The use of drones is prohibited in hunting areas and in water and migratory bird reserves of international and national importance. These areas are marked yellow on the FOCA's drone map.
  • I clarify with local authorities whether there are flight restrictions
    The canton of Geneva, for example, has introduced further restrictions on drones. Legislation in the canton of Geneva: Règlement concernant l’exécution de la loi fédérale sur l’aviation. There are also flight restrictions at major events, such as at the WEF in Davos or at international conferences.
  • I avoid other aircraft in good time
    The principle of “sea andavoid” also applies to unmanned aircraft. Since the pilot of an aircraft hardly has a chance of recognizing a small drone early on, it is my responsibility to avoid it in good time and always keep enough distance to other aircraft.
  • Am I adequately insured?
    For the operation of drones weighing 500g or more, I must have an insurance policy of at least CHF 1 million. However, it is also worthwhile to clarify the insurance coverage of your own liability insurance before starting for the first time with small drones.

I won't fly without a permit
  • Closer than 5 km around airfields and heliports
    In order to operate a drone weighing more than 0.5 kg within a radius of 5 km around airfields and heliports, prior approval is required either from the airport operator or, in the case of larger airfields, from Skyguide air traffic control. You can find out more about this on the FOCA drone map.
  • Over 150 m of ground in control zones
    Airports and airfields that are controlled by air traffic control have a so-called control zone, which is marked in blue on the drone map. These zones serve to protect aircraft taking off and landing. In control zones, drones weighing over 0.5 kg may only be flown up to a maximum height of 150 m above ground without authorization from Skyguide.
  • Near blue light inserts
    If you use your drone for aerial photography in an accident, you run the risk of a rescue helicopter having to abort its approach. In addition, rescue workers feel disrupted in their work by drones. That is why I only fly a drone during blue light operations if there is an order from the head of operations!
  • Above or closer than 100 m from a crowd
    The closer people stand together, the greater the risk that a person can be injured if a drone crashes. Therefore, a permit from the FOCA is always required for drones weighing over 0.5 kg. There are also simpler standard permits for weddings or company celebrations.
  • Without direct line of sight to the drone
    Flying with video glasses is only permitted if someone with direct visual contact with the drone can intervene at any time, as is the case with the FPV drone races. Otherwise, approval from the FOCA is required. Without direct visual contact, there is a high risk that I could collide with another aircraft whose pilot cannot see my drone either.
  • With aircraft weighing more than 30 kg
    Such professionally deployed aircraft must always be checked and approved by FOCA experts.