» How to register your weather balloon in Switzerland! «
Would you like to start your mission into space with a weather balloon in Switzerland? Then you’ve come to the right place. In recent years, our Stratoflights team has already carried out numerous missions in Switzerland. Compared to other countries, registering the ascent of a weather balloon in Switzerland is very uncomplicated and really easy.
For our flights from different launch sites in Switzerland, we first used the following information from the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and checked whether permission was required at all for the launch of our weather balloon or so-called free balloon. For numerous launches of weather balloons or free balloons we did not have to obtain a permit, so that the launching of our weather balloons was free of charge.
A brief note in advance: Please note that depending on the launch site and wind and weather conditions, your balloon may leave Switzerland and land in a neighbouring country. In this case, you must obtain permission from the country you expect to fly over! Alternatively, register a launch period in advance and check with our flight route calculation tool whether the weather balloon or free balloon will leave Switzerland or not and only launch if you stay within Switzerland.
Using the following restrictions for the whole of Switzerland, you can find out whether the ascent of your weather balloon or free balloon in Switzerland requires a permit:
In Switzerland it is prohibited to launch balloons
- which are filled with flammable gas;
- with more than 2 kg payload;
- with more than 30 m³ capacity.
- At a distance of less than 5km from civil or military airfields.
Are there any restrictions near airfields?
Balloon ascents within 5 km of the runway of a civil or military aerodrome are subject to the following additional requirements:
- The contents of a balloon must not exceed 1 m³.
- No balloons may be launched with open fires or with attached payloads, except for competition answer cards up to A5 size attached to balloons.
- No more than 300 balloons may be released at any one time.
- The balloons must not be tied together.
If one of these conditions is not met, permission must be obtained from Skyguide or the responsible aerodrome manager.
Contact of the licensing authority
Contacts airports, airfields and heliports for authorisation of drone flights and sky lanterns
Map with airfields:
Our tip: Unless you are more than 5 kilometres from the airstrip as the crow flies, make it easy on yourself and simply move your take-off location outside the 5 kilometre radius.
The legal basis for the ascent of weather balloons or free balloons in Switzerland can be viewed here:
In general, balloons shall be launched in such a way as to minimise hazards to persons, property or other aircraft, and the conditions set out in Annex 2 of the Implementing Regulation (EU) No: 923/2012 (SERA.3140) as well as the requirements set out in Art. 16 of the DETEC Ordinance on Special Category Aircraft shall be complied with.
Where can I get aviation liability insurance for my weather balloon in Switzerland?
The liability claims of third parties on earth must be secured by the owner or keeper by means of liability insurance with a guaranteed sum of at least 1 million Swiss francs. The securing of liability claims is not required for free balloons with a payload of less than 0.5 kg and a capacity of less than 30 m³ (Art. 20 VLK). In the event of accidents, the person or persons who have allowed the balloons to rise and thus culpably, unlawfully and adequately cause damage are generally liable (Art. 41 of the Swiss Code of Obligations).
Our tip: Check with the globally active insurer Zurich. They offer suitable insurance for your weather balloon launch in Switzerland.
Contact details of the FOCA:
Bundesamt für Zivilluftfahrt
Disclaimer: This website is constantly updated and checked. Despite all care, however, information may have changed in the meantime. The accuracy, completeness and timeliness of the information published on the pages, cannot be guaranteed. Stratoflights takes no liability for the published information.