Read on to find out more about U-space and the work being done in Switzerland to implement this framework.
What are U-Space airspaces?
The FOCA has designated areas in Swiss airspace – U-space airspaces – in which drone pilots use a collection of digital services to help them operate their drones safely.
Who uses U-space services?
All drone operators in U-space airspace are required to use U-space services. The U-Space Operator Manualexplains step by step how to use them.
The use of U-space services is voluntary for the following operator groups: drones with take-off weight below 250g (open category), model aircraft, state aviation, military operations.
Why have U-space airspaces been introduced?
The number and complexity of civilian drones in Switzerland has increased in recent years. Accessing airspace is difficult for drones due to safety risks, particularly in airspace areas with high levels of manned air traffic. The introduction of U-space airspaces aims to facilitate access to airspace for drones and enable their safe operation alongside manned aviation.
What are U-space airspaces intended to achieve?
Creating U-space airspaces serves purposes such as:
- improved visibility of drones in an airspace;
- better orientation for drone operators in an airspace;
- early planning of drone operations;
- accelerated authorisation process for complex drone operations (e.g. BVLOS);
- accounting for other public interests (protection of privacy, environment) in addition to safety
Where are U-space airspaces located in Switzerland?
There is no U-Space airspace in Switzerland at the moment. The FOCA is currently coordinating the introduction of a U-Space airspace in Zurich with the stakeholders concerned. At the same time, preparations are being made for the introduction of further U-space airspaces in other areas of Swiss airspace. The U-Space airspaces decreed by the FOCA are published on the drone map.
How do U-space airspaces impact manned aviation?
The Airspace and Aviation Infrastructure Strategy of Switzerland (AVISTRAT-CH) states that all airspace users must equip their aircraft correctly in order to play their part in airspace safety and access to airspace. For example, manned aircraft without air traffic control services must ensure that they are electronically conspicuous in U-space airspace. Drone operators have access to this information and are responsible for avoiding collisions.
There is a FAQ available on the creation of U-space airspaces in Switzerland.
Last modification 26.07.2023