Drone Laws in Finland (2023 Updated): All You Need To Know
Drones have become a common part of modern life in Finland, particularly for aerial photography and mapping. They are also used for search and rescue operations, especially in remote areas where traditional search parties would be too dangerous or difficult to send.
Their high maneuverability and long range make them ideal for use even in the cold winter weather. Drones are expected to become an even bigger part of both civilian and military operations across Finland as technology continues to evolve.
Drone flying is no longer an endeavor just for hobbyists; it’s a booming business. Whether you want to capture stunning aerial photography or use the technology to help with your specific industry needs, the usage rate of drones has skyrocketed over recent years.
But as this technology becomes more attractive, governments worldwide set out rules and regulations that need to be adhered to while using these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). So if you're planning on taking off in Finland, here's what you need to know about drone laws in Finland.
Also Read: New Drone Laws in France
Table of Contents
- General Drone Laws in Finland (2023)
- Rules for Commercial Drones
- Rules for Recreational Drones
- Finnish Transport Safety Agency (TRAFI)
- European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
- Operation Categories in European Union
- No Drone Zones in Finland
General Drone Laws in Finland (2023)
Individuals flying the following types of unmanned aircraft are exempt from EU registration regulations:
- An unmanned aircraft weighing less than 250 grams and not containing a camera or other personal data-recording device is exempt from legal restrictions.
- According to Directive 2009/48/EC, an unmanned aircraft is classified as a toy if it meets certain criteria.
- If you're a model aircraft enthusiast, take control of your passion with an aircraft with a maximum take-off mass of no more than 1 kg.
Any other Drone operators in Finland must register their drones to operate them legally. The registration process is surprisingly affordable - it costs only 30€ for a year, 75€ for 3 years, or 100€ for 5 years of operation.
Once you sign up, it is important that you abide by the following regulations.
- The Department of Civil Aviation may grant exemptions to operators of specific category drones, allowing them to soar up to 120 meters (400 feet) in the air. Without these allowances, drone pilots can still fly their unmanned aircraft as high as 50 meters (170 feet) above ground or sea level under the Open category.
- It is essential to have visual contact with the drone at all times, and it should not be operated farther than 500 meters away.
- Steer clear of airspaces near residential or crowded areas.
- To ensure safety, enforce a one-kilometer perimeter buffer zone around residential areas.
- Unless authorization is given by the owner or a person in authority, people must maintain a safe distance of 500 meters from any isolated buildings, individuals, vehicles, animals, and structures.
- Steer clear of the airspace near airports and heliports. To ensure your safety, maintain a minimum distance of 8 kilometers from any airport and 3 kilometers from any heliport when you fly.
- Under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to fly a drone during the night hours.
- Any form of aviation, whether hovering or flying by a military installation, public utility facility, archaeological site, or any other private/public property, is strictly prohibited.
Also Read: Drone Laws in Ukraine: All You Need To Know
Rules for Commercial Drones
If you intend to use a drone for commercial purposes, read the following rules before flying. Commercial operators are required to have authorization from the Ministry of Transport and Communications to operate drones.
A permit is necessary for the commercial use of drones in Finland.
- If you're operating a drone commercially, it's imperative that you carry liability insurance to protect yourself and your business.
- In order for a person to be legally qualified to operate commercial drones, they must be 18 years of age or older.
- Professional drone pilots must attach an identification sticker with their contact details to the aircraft and maintain a flight logbook for record-keeping purposes.
Rules for Recreational Drones
If you are an enthusiastic drone pilot and your craft weighs over 500 g, you must read self-study material and pass a related online examination. After January 1st, 2023, this regulation applies to any drone weighing more than 250 g – no matter the purpose of use.
As UAS operators, it is essential to always adhere to the 'open' category requirements, such as maintaining a visual line of sight and keeping the maximum height limits in mind.
Further, one must be mindful of subcategory conditions, weight limitations, and airspace restrictions that are valid. No drone license is needed to enjoy recreational drones.
- There are no age limits when it comes to recreational flying.
- It is exclusively used for non-commercial purposes.
- Steer clear of industrial sites and urban areas
- Ensure that you maintain a clear line of sight throughout your flight for optimal safety.
- Limit operations to only during daylight hours.
- As a hobby drone operator, it is mandatory to follow the regulations outlined in Aviation Act 864 of 2014.
- Ensure your drone is adequately protected by procuring liability insurance.
- Always maintain a safe distance from city limits, clouds, and other prohibited sites to ensure safety.
- Your drone must not exceed a weight of 25 kilograms.
- A manual override feature must be available on the switchboard to ensure safety and functionality.
Also Read: Drone Laws in Arizona
Finnish Transport Safety Agency (TRAFI)
The Finnish Transport Safety Agency (TRAFI) is a government agency dedicated to ensuring safe and efficient transportation in Finland and managing air navigation services.
Its responsibilities vary from monitoring drones to providing support and information for companies, pilots, and ferry operators.
TRAFI works with the Ministry of Transport and Communications to promote safety standards for drones, certify aviation courses, and collaborate with other authorities on rules and regulations regarding air transport.
As a leader in this field, TRAFI seeks to reduce the risk of accidents by emphasizing practices related to drones, aircraft, maritime vessels, trains, road traffic, and transportation services.
European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is the leading public authority in Europe responsible for ensuring the safe operation of drones and other aircraft.
Established in 2002. Drones used in the militaries of member countries to drones that provide package delivery services, EASA creates rules and regulations to protect users from potential hazards.
In order to maintain safe skies for drones, the agency undertakes various initiatives such as certification audits, environmental assessments, seminars, and workshops focused on best practices and innovative technology usage.
By doing so, EASA ensures that drones can fly safely in Europe without compromising the safety or security of their citizens.
Operation Categories in European Union
The European Union has three distinct classes of drones, each with its particular set of regulations and safety requirements.
Flying drones that are lower than 25kg and not used for commercial benefit is possible without needing any authorization whatsoever, but there are still some essential safety regulations enforced by the EASA which must be strictly adhered to.
Whether you're a beginner or an expert drone pilot, flying with caution remains paramount in ensuring everyone's safety and well-being.
In the European Union, drones of an open category have become a popular option due to their affordability and convenience.
Not just for leisure activities but for various commercial uses as well, these gadgets offer many advantages that make them worth considering.
By being both user-friendly and transformative, drones have the capacity to revolutionize aviation and transport in the EU. Despite a few obstacles ahead, it is evident that these remarkable aircraft will be essential for the transportation of tomorrow.
The specific category is more exclusive than the open one, and not all business activities are included. For instance, you would require explicit permission to take photos or films of people.
There may be various other limitations associated with utilizing a particular-category drone as well; consequently, it's best to check in with EASA before usage.
If you want to take flight with a drone, it's important to remember that certain types require explicit permission from governing bodies.
Lowest Price Drones points out these drones weigh between 25kg and 150kg and can only be used for commercial purposes. Before taking off, make sure you first obtain the necessary permit through EASA!
For those wishing to operate a drone, the European Union's aviation regulator - EASA, has various certification programs for different types of aircraft.
A certified-category drone is one that not only follows specific safety regulations but also weighs more than 150kg and can be used commercially if you receive an official permit from EASA. Therefore, it is essential to contact them before using such unmanned aircraft.
Also Read: European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)
No Drone Zones in Finland
Finland has taken a proactive stance on the use of drones in its airspace. This is apparent in the various 'No Drone Zones' created in Finland, designed to protect sensitive areas from unwanted aerial surveillance.
In Finland, military and other restricted areas have been established where drone activity is prohibited without prior permission. Other sensitive locations like prisons, aviation networks, and industrial sites are also subject to these regulations, with hefty penalties for those who violate them.
With Finland having strict regulations outlining when, where, and how drones can be flown within its airspace, you can be sure your level of privacy is maintained when visiting Finland.
Is it legal to fly a drone in Finland?
Yes, it is legal to fly a drone in Finland, provided that the flight takes place in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
Can I use my drone for commercial purposes?
Yes, but you must have an operational permit from EASA if your aircraft weighs more than 25kg.
Are there any 'No Drone Zones' in Finland?
Yes, Military establishments, prisons, aviation networks, and industrial sites are some of the areas where aerial surveillance is prohibited without prior permission from the relevant authorities.
Are there any other restrictions that must be followed when flying a drone in Finland?
Yes, pilots must stay well away from people, buildings, and vehicles to ensure safety. Additionally, drones must not be flown at night or within 5km of an airport without prior permission from the authorities.
Drones have become a popular tool for aerial photography, mapping, and other purposes across Finland. It is essential that drone pilots adhere to all the regulations set out by the Department of Civil Aviation in order to ensure safety and legality.
Operators must abide by weight limits, obtain proper registration, maintain visual contact at all times, stay away from restricted airspace near airports and residential areas, and avoid flying drones during night hours.
By following the guidelines outlined in this article, you can ensure that Finland's drone experience is secure and pleasurable. We trust that you found this information to be helpful. Please do not hesitate to leave us any comments or share your experiences.