Spraying with drones (SPRAY)

Authorisation of spraying operations in agriculture

The operation of UAVs for spraying purposes requires am authorization from the Federal Office of Civil Aviation. The requirements for such an application depend on the type of UAV used and the product sprayed. 

Application process


(1) In order to apply plant protection products, the UAS must be verified (homologated and tested) for ground applications. This technical authorisation is carried out by Agroscope. New UAS (each new serial number, before entry into service) must also undergo a spray test carried out by Agroscope or by an inspection body approved by the Federal Office for Agriculture. The main purpose of this test is to ensure that the drift of these aircraft is similar to that of spraying machines for ground applications. The spray tests must be repeated every three years on each aircraft.

(2) FOCA can only issue an operational authorization for spraying if the applicant uses a UAS approved through the Agroscope process. To submit an application for an Operational Authorization, the intended operations must meet the requirements of the PDRA Spray. Please submit to FOCA (rpas@bazl.admin.ch) an Operations Manual and a special licence for plant protection products along with the application form (currently only available in German and French), duly filled in and signed. 

(3) Upon review of the application files and if all requirements of the PDRA Spray are met, FOCA issues an operational authorization. The operator is then committed to operating his/her UAS only within the framework defined by his/her operations manual and operational authorization.

  • Deadline: Applications must be submitted at least 2 months before the intended operation. 
  • Cost: Depending on the time spent (CHF 160 per hour) 

Further support:

Last modification 25.04.2024

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