EU drone regulation

The application of the long-awaited EU drone regulation (EU) 2019/947 will begin in Finland according to the transition periods of the regulation on 31 December 2020. These rules will not apply to indoor flights.

Almost all operators and remote pilots will be subject to a registration obligation and an obligation to comply with UAS geographical zones immediately from the date of application of the regulation. Only operators that have a drone without a camera weighing less than 250 grams or a drone that is, according to its CE marking, a toy in accordance with the Toy Safety Act are exempted from the registration obligation.

EU drone regulation in a nutshell

In the Open Category, visual contact is maintained throughout the operations, the operations are limited to a height of less than 120 metres and the mass of the drone is limited to less than 25 kilograms. An operator of the drone must in general register itself and a remote pilot must in general complete at least the online examination.

In subcategory A1, flights with light devices over random people are permitted. In subcategory A2, the use of slightly heavier drones is permitted, but the operations must take place away from people. In subcategory A3, the operations always take place far away from settlements and people. In this case, the operations are also possible with heavier drones. The detailed requirements concerning drones are listed in the table below:

CE markingsC0 and C1C2C2, C3 and C4
Maximum weight900 grams4 kg25 kg
RestrictionsFlights are permitted over random people, but not over crowdsFlight are permitted at a safe distance from peopleFlights are permitted far away from people and settlements
Training requirementThe remote pilot of a device weighing more than 250 grams must have completed the online examinationOnline examination and supervised additional theoretical knowledge examinationOnline examination

If it is not possible to operate according to the rules of the Open Category, the operations must take place in the Specific Category where the operator of an unmanned aircraft system either operates under a declaration according to the standard scenario published by EASA or applies for an operational authorisation for its own operations from the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom. When applying for the operational authorisation, the applicant must present the nature of the planned activities, a SORA risk assessment and the means of reducing risks with the help of which the level of risks can be reduced to an acceptable level. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom will publish pre-made risk assessments for certain types of operations which make it easier to apply for an operational authorisation. If the operator cannot operate according to the standard scenario published by EASA or a pre-made risk assessment published by Traficom, it must make a SORA risk assessment of its activities on the basis of which it is possible to apply for an operational authorisation. The training requirements of remote pilots in the Specific Category can be found in separate instructions. A link to these instructions will be added at the end of this page immediately after the instructions have been published.

If the operations involve flights over crowds, the transport of people or the carriage of dangerous goods, the operations must be take place in the Certified Category, for which the preparations are still under way. The standards related to the Certified Category have not been published yet so, in practice, it is not possible to receive an authorisation for this category yet.

Radio equipment of drones

The radio and telecommand equipment of drones (including remote-controlled aircraft and model aircraft) must comply with requirements. European regulations provide that radio equipment must bear an EU declaration of conformity and a CE marking. The regulations on wireless devices and their use vary from country to country and it is possible that devices sold in foreign online stores generate interference in Finland, for instance. Devices should not interfere with other radio equipment when their frequencies and radiated power are correct. Sellers, importers and manufacturers operating within the EU must ensure that their devices meet the appropriate requirements.

See Traficom's website for information on the use of frequencies and tips for purchasing wireless devices.