5 December 2022 |

Switzerland will follow EU regulations on drones

From 1 January 2023, drone pilots will be required to comply with new regulations. For the Swiss drone industry, having a legal framework harmonized with the European Union will be an advantage.

Within the framework of the bilateral air transport agreement, Switzerland and the EU are harmonizing their regulations for the international aviation sector through a joint committee. The joint committee has determined that the regulatory framework for unmanned aircrafts (drones, model aircraft and other such devices) already in effect in the EU will come into force in Switzerland on 1 January 2023.

European regulations set safety standards for the manufacture, certification and operation of drones. From now on, drone operations will be classified according to the level of risk of the operation in three categories : “open”, “specific” or “certified”.

Any remote pilot wishing to operate a drone in the “open” category must have a certificate obtained after undergoing training and passing an exam. The adopted legislation includes the mutual recognition of certificates in the EU and Switzerland.

Enhanced protection of the population

In addition, new maximum flight heights, weight limits and geographical restrictions will be applied. In response to public concerns, environmental protection, privacy and safety regulations have also been introduced.

Switzerland will also apply the European regulation on U-space. A set of digital and automated functions and processes can thus be implemented in a defined airspace. U-space is designed to integrate the growing number of civilian drones into the airspace, while ensuring that they can coexist harmoniously with traditional aircrafts. Pilots will therefore benefit from a better overview of the traffic situation.

More information on these new rules and the online drone registration forms are available on the FOCA website.

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