Special flights

The procedures for coordinating special flights, formalised by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation, are promulgated in details in VFR Manual (VFR RAC 4, §7). Flights within airspace class C and D must be coordinated by the operator or the organiser with air traffic control service prior to execution.

Special flights include:

  • Photo and other survey flights
  • Transportation flights within CTR/TMA
  • TV and radio broadcasting flights
  • All air displays and events (fireworks, sky lanterns, toy balloons, captive balloons, etc.)
  • Regular sightseeing flights
  • Glider competitions
  • Balloon competitions (including balloon competitions for children within CTR)
  • Parachute jumping exercises
  • Flights with mini-drones and model airplanes (Restrictions for drones)
  • Surveillance flights
  • Flights with hang gliders
  • Gas balloon and hot-air balloons
  • Weather balloons
  • Searchlights and lasers





Applications should be addressed to the ATC unit in charge no later than 10 business days before the earliest possible flight date, with an exact description of the flight concerned, using the form below. Whenever possible, the ATC unit should be provided with maps and flight route.

The receiving ATC unit will then coordinate the special flight with all ATC units, including the military.

The operator will be provided with all restrictions and conditions by the responsible ATC unit, including a reference number.



Test flight pattern: only for Swiss-based aircraft maintenance companies


The procedures for coordinating test flight patterns, formalised by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation, are promulgated in details in AIP (ENR 1.1-4). Test flight patterns can only be flown by Swiss-based aircraft maintenance companies.


To obtain approval for a test flight pattern


  • The operator of the test flight sends a request (Airspace and ATC request) to the Airspace Management Cell (AMC) at .
  • The requests should reach the AMC until Wednesday of the week before the requested flight, to allow the test flight to be coordinated with the appropriate ATC unit.


Pre-notification and activation


  • The test pilot must contact ATC by phone one hour before take-off (+41 43 931 69 60)
  • The operator will be informed about all restrictions and conditions by the ATC unit responsible.