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Sun, 29 Dec, 2013 01:59:17 AM
Popularity of unmanned drone increases in country
FTimes-STT Report, December 29
File picture of drone. Photo Getty Images AFP- Lehtikuva.
The popularity of unmanned drones significantly increased in the country in the recent years prompting the authorities to explore ways for its use in various sectors.
The Ministry of Interior, The National Police Board and the Finnish Border Guard are currently developing a common framework on how the best use of the drone services could be ensured, official sources said. The report is expected to be finalised by the end of January.
Sources also said the use of drones were presently still limited and had been utilised by the Finnish Defence Forces since the early 2000s for a variety of military tasks.
File picture of drone. Photo AFP- Lehtikuva.
The Defence Forces use unmanned Ranger drones for surveillance, intelligence and precision location purposes and is expected to acquire new mini-drones for short range pinpointing of location.
The drones are also used for civilian purposes such as mapping and aerial photography missions. 
Occasionally, the rescue team also uses drones in search and rescue operations. Last summer, drones were used during the industrial accident in Laukaa gunpowder factory.
File picture of drone. Photo AFP- Lehtikuva.
The Transport Safety Agency (Trafi), also responsible for civil aviation regulation in the country, advised that the unmanned drones should not cruise at an altitude lower than 150 metres and should not fly at over 500 metres above ground or water surface for safety reasons.
Rules concerning the unmanned drones would become clearer when the Aviation Act was being reviewed, Trafi sources said.
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