Specific category


As of January 1, 2023, the FOCA will only issue operating licenses in accordance with EU law. A transition period of 8 months (see BBl 2023 1774 for legal reference - in German) is planned in order to:

  1. Adapt operating licenses already issued to the new legal basis.
  2. To give operators newly falling into the specific category time to obtain a licence under EU law (STS, PDRA, SORA).
  3. To allow operators in point 2 to still operate under the rules of the previous OSCA during this time. In doing so, operators can deviate from the rules of the open category, if this is absolutely necessary for the operation.

By the end of the transition period on September 1 2023, all operators within the specific category must be in possession of an authorization (STS, PDRA, SORA) based on EU law.

If one or more of the basic rules cannot be complied with or if the take-off weight is over 25kg, you may require an authorisation to operate the drone in the specific category.

The following presentation gives an overview of this category:

The following procedures are available to apply for an operational authorisation:

The decision tree presented in the document below gives an overview of the different conditions applicable for each authorisation type.

Instructions for writing an Operations Manual (OM)

The Operations Manual (OM) serves as the basis for any request for an Operational Authorisation in the Specific category. An OM is approved only if it demonstrates that all identified risks are tolerable and operational safety objectives are met based a Specific Operations Risk Assessment (SORA) or a Pre-defined Risk Assessment (PDRA).The OM should not only describe the operation, but also provide insight into the operator’s operational safety culture. It should also include how and when to interact with additional parties/organizations (e.g., Airport Authorities, ANSP).

Please find below FOCA's "Guidance to elaborate an Operations Manual" (FOCA-UAS-GM-OM) that is designed to be used in combination with the empty “Operations Manual Template” (FOCA-UAS-APP-OM).

The goal is to guide applicants to provide the necessary information for submitting an OM as part of an application for an operational authorization, i.e. together with SORA or a PDRA application form.

Further guidance:

Further information

Last modification 11.08.2023

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