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Traveling Europe with drones.


Well-Known Member
May 20, 2017
My wife is going to a conference next year then spending some time in University libraries doing research. So I will have some time ( a couple of weeks) to wander about and take my time with drone photography. I plan on taking my Mavic Pro and my Spark. Along with a small mirrorless digital. It'll all fit in a camera backpack with room for spare batteries and such.
First stop is Bern Switzerland for the conference then onward to Nuremberg Germany. In reading the German requirements I have noted the insurance and have a company that provides 1 million Euros drone insurance for around 75€ which is ok I guess although it is unclear as to the scope (all of Europe?) and duration (weekly? whole trip?). The real kicker though is the German regs specify a fireproof metal permanently affixed tag with name and address on the drones. Where in the world do you find such a thing and is this really what German drone pilots have on their drones?
Any other travel gotchas appreciated. We have several months to go but we have so many things to get organized that I want to take care of this first.
General Rules for Flying a Drone in Switzerland
  • If the pilot always has direct eye contact with his drone he or she may operate without a permit.
  • If someone wants to use technical aids such as binoculars or video glasses in order to increase the natural sight of the eyes, a license from the FOCA is required. Learn more about the licensing process here.
  • Within the visual line of sight the pilot may use FPV goggles or similar tools, provided that a second visual observer monitors the flight and if necessary can intervene to the control the aircraft at any time.
  • An automated flight (i.e., autonomous operation of a drone) within the field of vision of the pilot is permitted, provided that the pilot can intervene to control of the drone at any time if required .
  • Within hunting or protected areas for water and migratory birds, flying drones is prohibited without exception.
  • Aerial photography is permitted as long as the regulations for the protection of military installations are taken into account. Attention must be paid to the protection of privacy and the provisions of the Data Protection Act.
  • As a matter of principle, drones should not be operated over crowds or within 100 meters (328 feet) of crowds. Learn more here.
  • If you operate a drone with a weight of more than 500 grams (1.1 pounds), you must guarantee at least 1 million francs for any damage.
  • Drones may not be flown within 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of an airport.
  • Cantons and municipalities may issue additional restrictions on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles. See this example for the canton of Geneva.
  • For public air events, in which only model airplanes or drones are used, no approval is required from the FOCA.
As for Germany,

You can order the nameplates from a retailer in germany or make one yourself. When I went i took a small piece of metal and engraved my details on it then stuck it on my drone.

Fireproof drones flag sign from Aluminum, different colours - DroneShop Berlin
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Thanks - perfect details and much appreciated!
Hmm those badges are pretty big actually - I guess I can adapt a dog tag or something to get the size down.
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Each country (currently) has fairly different regulations so need to be country-aware for each one.
Switzerland should yield some fantastic landscapes for flying.
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