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Police allowed to stop drones if new law steps into effect

New tighter laws regarding drones will step into effect in March once President Sauli Niinistö approves a draft bill on Friday.

oranssi drone taivaalla
Image: AOP

Police will be able to prevent and forbid drones from flying, for example near an accident site, if a new draft bill steps into effect. Drone flying can also be totally forbidden if necessary "for public order and safety,” according to a government draft bill that goes to President Sauli Niinistö on Friday, 22 February. Once Niinistö approves the bill, it will become law on 18 March.

In practice, this means that flying drones could be prohibited at the scene of an accident.

The dangers and disturbances caused by drones are usually not intentional, though drones have been used for criminal purposes such as transporting illegal goods.

Twelve close calls

According to Traficom, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, there were 12 dangerous situations involving drones last year in Finland.

These include situations where a drone flew near an airplane and a collision was avoided only by chance. These types of incidents have mainly taken place near Helsinki Airport.

The draft bill also warns that drones can be used to transport explosives or false base stations that can capture data traffic.

Flying above nuclear power plants forbidden

The current aviation act forbids all types of aviation activity over nuclear power plants and near oil refineries.

However, the current laws don’t specify anything about unmanned flights. This will change if the draft bill steps into effect.

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