Planning approval and operating regulations

The construction of aviation infrastructures and the operation of aerodromes are subject to approval by the Confederation. The Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) is responsible for carrying out the relevant procedures.

Buildings and installations that are used exclusively or mainly for aerodrome operation may only be erected or modified if the plans have been approved in advance by the competent authority. The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) is responsible for aerodromes with a concession (airports), while the FOCA is responsible for all other types of aerodrome. The planning approval procedure is regulated in Articles 37 to 37t of the Federal Act on Aviation (AviA; SR 748.0).

Article 36c AviA states that each aerodrome operator must also issue operating regulations and submit them to the FOCA for approval. The operating regulations specify in detail the conditions set by the Transport Sectoral Plan, Aviation Infrastructure (SAIP), the concession or operating licence and, if applicable, the planning approval decision. They cover aspects such as the organisation of the airfield, the approach and take-off procedures and special regulations for the use of the aerodrome.

In actual terms this means that the operator of an aerodrome either with or without an operating concession must submit all documents to the FOCA for each project (see further information).

In the Aerodromes A-Z section you can find selected rulings on planning approvals and operating regulations, in particular for projects requiring an environmental impact assessment or accompanied by a media release. These documents are only published systematically in the case of aerodromes with a concession and when of public interest. All other facilities are private airfields, i.e. there is no systematic public interest in the rulings.

The FOCA does not publish operating regulations on the internet. These documents can be accessed on request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA; SR 152.3). Requests to view the documents may be sent to the FOCA in writing or by email (

Further information

Last modification 15.11.2023

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Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA

Aviation Policy & Strategy Division
3003 Bern
Roger Bosonnet
Tel: +41 58 465 74 84


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