The SwissFEL project was approved by the Swiss Parliament in December 2012. The legally valid building permit for SwissFEL arrived at the end of January 2013. Construction works started in April 2013.
It is foreseen to divide the construction into two phases, with completion of the electron accelerator and the hard X-ray Aramis beamline in 2017. Construction of the soft X-ray Athos beamline would then begin mid 2018, with completion of the entire facility a year later. This two-phase construction schedule allows additional time for research and development of enhanced seeding technologies for the Athos beamline.