Soaring Concerns: The Drone Regulation Dilemma in the Nordic Region

A Regulatory Gap in the Sky

At the Unmanned Nordic Conference UNC2024 in Oslo, , a striking disparity in drone regulation compliance was revealed, raising significant concerns over flight safety in the Nordic region. The panel discussion, led by Jonas Stjernberg of Innoavia Oy, brought to light the extensive gap between drone ownership and regulatory compliance.

Surging Numbers, Sluggish Regulation

Anders Martinsen from UAS Norway presented alarming statistics: approximately 414,000 drones are owned in , but only about 17,700 drone users are registered. This reveals a worrying trend: half of the drone users are aware of the regulations but choose to disregard them, while a significant 24% are completely unaware of the need to register.

Soaring Concerns: The Drone Regulation Dilemma In The Nordic Region 2

The Bottleneck of Operational Authorisation

The process to obtain operational authorization is cumbersome and slow, often taking up to five months. This sluggish pace is starkly at odds with the rapid growth and demands of the . The low numbers of operational authorizations in the Nordic – 100 in Finland, 87 in , 165 in Norway, and 101 in – highlight how current drone rules are stifling the industry's potential to benefit business and society.

The Path Forward: Simplification and Harmonization

Experts suggest that improving compliance and fostering growth in professional drone use requires several key changes:

  • Simplified drone rules that are easier to understand and follow.
  • Accelerated permit processing, especially in the specific category.
  • A harmonized approach to drone regulations across Nordic and European countries.
  • Intuitive online services for operator registration and permit applications, including annual payments and easy access to information updates.

Innoavia Oy: Pioneering the Change

Innoavia Oy, a leading European Innovative Aviation consultancy based in Finland, emphasizes the need for these reforms. They advocate for streamlined regulations and efficient online services, which are crucial for the advancement of and Innovative Aerial Services.

A Call for Action

The stark contrast between the number of drone owners and registered operators in the Nordic region points to a critical need for regulatory reform. Simplified rules, faster permit processing, and uniform implementation across countries are imperative to ensure the safe and efficient growth of the unmanned aviation sector. As the industry stands at a crossroads, the decisions made now will shape the future of drone operations in the Nordic skies and beyond.

Featured image for illustration purposes only.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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