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 4-0-8). 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 an “airspace request” to the Airspace Management Cell (AMC) at .
  • This request must reach the AMC until Wednesday of the week before the requested flight, to allow the test flight to be included in the ASRO (Airspace Reservation Overview Switzerland).
  • On office days, late requests may still be made until 1200LT of the day before the planned flight. Flight acceptance will be subject to the availability of TRAs.


Pre-notification and activation


  • The same form must also be sent to not later than two hours before ETD for pre-notification to the ATC Unit concerned.
  • After sending the form, the test pilot must contact ATC via telephone (+41 43 931 69 60) for detailed coordination of the flight, including the maximum level to be used.
  • The operator will be informed about all restrictions and conditions by the ATC Unit responsible.