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What are Special Operations?

Special Operations on IVAO are defined as all aviation flights and operations that do not fall under the definition of General Air Traffic (GAT) and are thus qualified as Operational Air Traffic (OAT), as aerial military operations, aerial work and other aviation flights, be that activities or operations that are performed under rules and procedures other than those that fully comply with ICAO Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) or other civil rules and procedures. Controlling military units and other units, other than civil air traffic services, responsible for flights mentioned above also fall under the regulation of Special Operations.

Aerial military operations

  • Offensive operations
  • Counter-air missions
  • Formation flying
  • low-level flying
  • Aerial refueling
  • Airborne early warning and control aircraft
  • communications relay aircraft
  • Carrier operations
  • Combat search and rescue
  • Training flights
  • Operations of unmanned (uninhabited) aircraft

aerial work or specialized operations

  • Search and rescue operations
  • Aerial firefighting operations
  • Aeromedical evacuations
  • Construction work flights
  • Hoist or sling operations
  • Towing of other aircraft or objects
  • Oil spill works
  • Avalanche mining operations
  • Parachute operations and skydiving
  • aerobatic flights (inc. displays)
  • News media flights
  • Aerial photography (inc. air-air and air-ground)
  • Aerial observation, patrol or survey flights

Police and customs operations

Any specialized or high-risk aerial operations

Any other aviation flight

Activities or operations that deviate from ICAO SARPS or other civil rules and procedures
(such as flights conducted below minimum heights, helicopter operations outside the height velocity diagram etc.)

  • Animal herding, rescue or veterinary flights
  • Releasing of objects or spraying from an aircraft
  • Operations at offshore installations or ships
  • Scientific research flights
  • Cloud seeding flights
  • Sensational flights (inc. zero gravity)
  • Test or acceptance flights
  • Calibration flight

Rules and Regulations

Rules which are good to know!

  • All extreme activity, such as Hijacking Simulation, political or religious motivated war flights and others of the kind are PROHIBITED and may lead to a suspension.
  • Users can obtain approval to conduct Special Operations in Switzerland Division by emailing Division HQ. Once permission has been granted, and an updated Special Operations Order has been approved and published with the user’s VID listed, they may perform Special Operations in that Division with no additional restrictions placed.


  • Interceptions Aircraft shall adhere to the following rules when intercepting other air traffic in Switzerland airspaces:
  • Military aircraft shall be used to perform interceptions
  • Interceptions are prohibited unless prior approval is obtained from the aircraft that is to be intercepted and the ATC station the intercept is to be performed on.
  • Non-RVSM equipped aircraft shall not proceed within 2000ft vertical separation or 5NM longitudinal and lateral separation of any other aircraft unless prior permission from the intercepted pilot and ATC has been acquired.
  • RVSM equipped aircraft shall not proceed within 1000ft vertical separation or 5NM longitudinal and lateral separation of any other aircraft unless prior permission from the intercepted pilot and ATC has been acquired.
  • ATC stations shall notify the appropriate other ATC stations of the (intention to) intercept in case the aircraft involved are about to transition into another ATC station’s airspace. Aircraft (re)joining their own or other formations are not considered to be performing an intercept and are thus exempted from above mentioned rules.

Supersonic Flight regulations

  • Any speed exceeding the value of Mach 0.95 is considered supersonic;
  • The supersonic activity of SO flights can be carried out only as OAT (Operational Air Traffic);
  • The supersonic activity of Switzerland military aircraft overhead the national territory is allowed for training within the TSA Areas available on item1 (or eventually within temporary areas announced by specific NOTAM), with prior approval of air traffic control
  • Supersonic flight is allowed only above FL245 and with the coordination of an ATC. Without an ATC supersonic flight is not allowed. When approved by ATC a minimum distance of 10NM from any airways as well as a distance of 20NM from any traffic should be kept all the time

Formation restrictions

Aircraft flying in formation in Switzerland shall adhere to the following rules:

  • formation aircraft shall remain within 1NM lateral and longitudinal separation from their leader
  • formation aircraft shall remain within 100ft vertical separation from their leader
  • only the formation leader shall activate his transponder unless otherwise instructed by ATC


All military airports  in Switzerland are restricted to  ADC and higher rated controllers.

Official Rules and Regulations by IVAO.AERO

Actually, our Special Ops Department is still under development, and we are recruiting a Coordinator (CH-SOC).