Contribution by Suomen Ilmailuliitto, last updated on 22/12/2020
In Finland model flying within framework of clubs and associations can continue to use old rules until the end of the transitional period (31/12/2022), only the registration needed. Unorganized model flying moves directly to the EU-rules in the beginning of the transitional period. The model flying places of the old rules will be replaced with the new UAS-zones based on the article 15 of the new EU-rules during year 2021. Implementation of the article 16 is on hold until more information comes available from the national authority.
Implementing the new EU rules; state of play
The model flying committee (lennokkitoimikunta, LeT) of the Suomen Ilmailuliitto (SIL) has started a project to implement the new rules for the model flying activities within SIL and it’s member clubs, currently 59 clubs have joined the project. The competent authority in Finland is the liikenne- ja viestintävirasto aka Traficom and SIL and LeT have had several meetings with them on implementing EU-rules since 2019.
The current state of affairs is that organized model hobby can continue with the old rules (OPS M1-32) until the end of the transitional period. The main changes are that from 1.1.2021 onwards there is registering requirement and the model flying places (club fields, airfields etc.) will be replaced with the new zones based on the article 15 of the EU-rules during 2021. The clubs and associations can apply for article 16 based authorisation, however, this is on hold until more information is released from Traficom (estimated March 2021).
OPS M1-32 rules for pilots during transitional period (1.1.2021-31.12.2022):
- no age limits
- no training nor exam requirements
- no insurance requirements except for 20 kg and heavier models
- transitional period with old rules is only for clubs/associations
- registration of the pilot if model weighs more than 250 g or there is a recording device in the model
OPS M1-32 rules for models during transitional period (1.1.2021-31.12.2022):
- max weight 25 kg
- max weight 3 kg at populated area
- registration number, name and contact information in the model
Overview of the OPM M1-32 requirements where the unmanned aircraft can be flown:
- below 150 m outside restricted zones
- higher altitudes possible with special permission
- CTR zones 0, 50 or 120 m (UAS-zones)
- UAS zones around the helicopter- and airfields, permission needed
- higher altitudes possible at CTR zones with permission
- restricted zones around city centers, military areas, nuclear power plants etc.
- minimum distance to crowd 50 m
There is an unofficial aviation information service called Aviamaps which collects the most above information and real time aviation situation in Finland in one place:
Model airplane pilot can also report flying activities there; highly recommendable but not mandatory.
Clubs and Associations
LeT has a website for the implementing new rules, there is also list of the involving clubs. Currently only in Finnish but an English page is planned for visiting pilots, should be available February 2021 (http://lennokkimaarays.ilmailuliitto.fi/).
So far the LeT has been helping the clubs to update their rules and registers to be ready for the transitional season rules and also the AIS-listing of the model flying fields has been updated recently.
Also the process to get art 15 UAS-zone status for these flying places is going on and should happen sometime 2021.
Rules for the visiting pilots still unclear, particularly for those coming outside EASA-area. However, registration and A1/A3 exam should be enough to fly under open category rules and the model airfields of the clubs (art 15 UAS-zones) will offer good conditions for visiting pilots.
Training and registration
At least in the beginning model pilots will register individually at Traficom server, the costs of the registering depend on how long registration is needed:
- 1 year €30
- 3 years €75
- 5 years (max) €100
The online A1/A3 exam can be done at free of charge same time with the registering. The self studying material is already available online.
Further information and useful links
Suomen Ilmailuliitto (our association): https://www.ilmailuliitto.fi/
Traficom (national authority): https://www.traficom.fi/fi/
Drone flying information from Traficom (registering, exam): https://www.droneinfo.fi
Aviation maps, incl. AIS-listing of the model flying places: https://aviamaps.com/en