There are three no-fly zones in Helsinki city centre. These prohibited areas apply to all aviation, including drones. Special signs will be used to indicate the prohibited areas in the summer of 2017.
The prohibited areas in Helsinki city centre were established in 2015 in zones relevant for public order and security. However, information about the existence of such zones has been poorly available for drone flyers thus far. Indeed, the aim is that placing the signs will raise awareness among drone flyers.
”Drone sales have been growing exponentially, which has at the same time led to rise in the number of recreational drone flyers. Tourists also use drones, primarily for taking photographs. The hobbyists and tourists are generally unfamiliar with aviation regulation and might thus also not know about prohibited areas in aviation”, explains Trafi's Chief Adviser Jukka Hannola: ”Corresponding no drone zone signs are already used, e.g. in the USA and Singapore. The signs introduced in Finland will be in English, as a lot of foreign tourists also move in the areas.”
”These kinds of prohibited areas can be established when necessary over targets and areas of specific relevance to rescue operations, government, defence, border control or contingency planning”, Hannola adds.
Flying over the prohibited areas may result in confiscating drones
The police monitor the compliance with the no drone zones as part of their normal patrol duties. Technical aids are also used in carrying out the control measures. Flying a drone in the zones without an appropriate special permission may result a legal penalty, and the police may confiscate the drone.
”The police will exercise more care in intervening in unlawful drone flying in the prohibited areas from now on”, explains Superintendent Sami Hätönen of the National Police Board.
Flying a drone is allowed with a special permission
Trafi may, for special reasons, grant permission for flying drones in the prohibited areas. These areas include Meilahti, Munkkiniemi and Kruunuhaka as well as Luonnonmaa, Kilpilahti, Loviisa, Olkiluoto and Hanhikivenniemi.
The permissions may be granted for a fixed term, for no more than for the current calendar year. ”These fixed-term permissions may be granted, e.g. to media houses in the Kruununhaka area where a lot of different public events are held at the Senate Square and the Kauppatori Market Square”, explains Hannola.
”Single permissions can be granted when operators have an acute need for flying in the prohibited area. Single permissions are always granted on a case-by-case basis”, adds Hannola.
Application for a fixed-term permission must be submitted to Trafi at least 7 working days before the operations in the prohibited area are intended to begin. Single permissions must be applied for at least 3 working days before the operations in the prohibited area are intended to begin.
In addition to the holders of special permission, certain authorities, such as the police, are permitted to fly their unmanned aerial vehicles in the prohibited areas.
The signs will be installed in collaboration by Trafi, the National Police Board, the Helsinki Police and the City of Helsinki.
The zones indicated with prohibition signs are areas where aviation is restricted as laid down in the Government decree 614/2015.
National Police Board