Diplomatic clearances

Information from the Federal Office of Civil Aviation concerning the procedure for submitting diplomatic clearance requests for foreign state aircraft, civil or military, wishing to enter Swiss airspace for landing or overflight 

The federal authorities appreciate the cooperation of the diplomatic missions in adhering strictly to the requirements below: 

Who is required to apply for a diplomatic clearance? 

Any military or foreign state aircraft wishing to fly over or land in Switzerland requires a diplomatic clearance. 

Who issues the diplomatic clearance? 

The Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) issues the clearance. It does so in agreement with the Directorate of International Law of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and the Swiss Air Force. 

What are the formalities to be observed? 

The diplomatic mission of the state concerned submits an application to the FOCA. 

Important: The written request must reach the FOCA at least five working days before the flight date. Late requests will be processed only in exceptional cases and where duly substantiated. If an authorised flight has to be postponed for more than 72 hours, a new application must be submitted. 

If the application meets the requirements, a diplomatic clearance number is issued, authorising the applicant to fly over or land in Switzerland 

The diplomatic mission should complete the 'Diplomatic clearance application form' and send it as a note verbale to the following fax number: +41 58 465 80 60.

This form is available under 'Further information: Forms' at:

Federal Office of Civil Aviation – Diplomatic clearances

or contact diplomatic.clearances@bazl.admin.ch

Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA)
Mühlestrasse 2, 3063 Ittigen
CH-3003 Bern
(Monday to Friday, 9am to 12 noon and 2pm to 5pm)

Tel. +41 (0)58 465 91 77
Fax +41 (0)58 465 80 60 

What is the procedure for obtaining a diplomatic clearance in an emergency?

In exceptional or urgent cases, outside the FOCA's hours of business, the on-call service of the Swiss Air Force can be reached at the following telephone number: +41 (0)44 823 37 01. More detailed information can be found in the Swiss aeronautical information publication (AIP Switzerland).

In which cases is a clearance not issued?

In principle, the following are not allowed to use Swiss airspace:

  • aircraft whose flights violate the rules of international law

  • armed aircraft

  • any aircraft that may be used to conduct reconnaissance operations, whether or not equipped with reconnaissance equipment

  • aircraft carrying armed troops, ammunition and war material within the meaning of the Federal Act of 13 December 1996 on War Material (SR 514.51) and its corresponding ordinance of 25 February 1998 (SR 514.511)

  • aircraft carrying dangerous goods in violation of the provisions of ICAO Annex 18 and the associated Technical Instructions. 

Exemptions may be granted in special cases.