Foreign aircraft that belong to special categories

In order for foreign aircraft that belong to special categories (i.e. aircraft that do not, or only partially (or temporarily not), meet the airworthiness requirements in accordance with ICAO Annex 8) to be flown into and operated in Switzerland, a special permit is required for the use of Swiss airspace. Applications for a special licence must be submitted so that they are received by the FOCA by not later than two full working days prior to the intended flight. 

Applications submitted by e-mail must be accompanied by the following documentation in German, French, Italian or English:

  • Airworthiness certificate, including any imposed restrictions, or;
  • Flight approval, including any special requirements;
  • Noise certificate (if applicable);
  • Registration certificate;
  • Maintenance record incl. annual inspection;
  • Third party liability insurance policy.

The processing time for applications for a special permit, which is generally valid for one year (particularly for aircraft based in Switzerland) can take some time. If necessary, the Federal Office of Civil Aviation can request additional supporting documentation, and also reserves the right to subject special category* aircraft permanently based in Switzerland to an inspection before issuing a permit to use Swiss airspace.

*Note: If the aircraft is kept in Switzerland for a long period the approval of the customs authorities and the aerodrome must also be sought.

A special permit for entry into Switzerland or for the use of Swiss airspace is not required for aircraft that have been registered in the European Economic Area with a permit to fly containing the following wording: «This permit to fly has been issued in accordance with Regulation (EC) 2018/1139, Article 18, paragraph 2, letter (b), and certifies that the aircraft can be safely operated within the scope of the purposes cited below and under the stated conditions; it is valid in all member states».

Furthermore, in application of ECAC Recommendation INT S/11-1 dated June 1980, no application is required for issuing a permit for entry into Switzerland for home-built aircraft that have been registered in ECAC states. However, this principle does not automatically apply to every type of operation. For example, in Switzerland foreign home-built light aircraft are not permitted to carry out flights in accordance with VFR Night and IFR unless they meet the respective Swiss requirements.

Aircraft in the category "antique/historical" according the ECAC/35-1 recommendation, that are registered in an ECAC state are exempt from the authorization requirement for the use of Swiss airspace. The recommendation, which entered into force on 18 May 2016, has been adopted by Switzerland. Only originally factory-manufactured aircraft, previously holding an ICAO compliant Certificate of Airworthiness are excluded from the special permit requirements.

Certain microlights are entitled to fly in Switzerland without the need for any further formalities. Aircraft types approved to fly in Switzerland can be found at the bottom of this page under further information > publications.

Important: Microlights entitled to fly in Switzerland may only enter Swiss airspace occasionally. They may not be kept in Switzerland on a permanent basis. A special permit is required for microlights (type) which do not appear on the list Microlights entitled to fly in Switzerland! This applies in particular to autogyros.

Application for permit to fly into Switzerland / special permit to operate aircraft in Swiss airspace


Please complete all required fields*

Further Information


Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA

Swiss Aircraft Registry

Tel: +41 58 465 35 35
Fax: +41 58 465 80 48

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