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Kuvituskuva, drone talvisessa maisemassa.

Drone use opens up huge market for businesses and affects everyday life of consumers

Published on 30.1.2023

The Finnish Parliament is currently debating a legislative amendment implementing EU regulations, under which airspaces for unmanned aerial systems, i.e. drones, may be established in Finland as of 26 January 2023. Similarly, all the other EU Member States have to implement the EU regulation by that date.

“The purpose is to coordinate manned and unmanned aviation and to facilitate drone flying in circumstances where the pilot has no direct visual contact with the drone. A huge market is opening up, as the EU expects the drone business in Europe to grow to a volume of up to EUR 14 billion by 2030. Prognoses show that more than 100,000 jobs may be created, which means that there will be substantial opportunities on the Finnish market too,” says Director Pasi Nikama from Fintraffic.

Eurocontrol, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Fintraffic, which is the provider of air navigation services in Finland, are hosting a U-space Stakeholder Network Meeting in Helsinki on 26 January, with a wide range of top-level delegates from several European countries. This event will feature expert reviews of the recently published drone strategy of the European Commission and of the airspace management experiments conducted by various governments. In the afternoon, Eurocontrol will chair three workshops focusing on key challenges in the field: synergy needs between interest groups, cybersecurity, and the Concept of Operations.

“Drones are becoming increasingly common, and Finland must focus sufficient attention on providing lower airspace services. This calls for public investments as soon as possible, to allow the Finnish market to evolve in step with the rest of Europe. Drones must be acknowledged as a major factor in building the transport and logistics system of the future,” says Pertti Korhonen, CEO of Fintraffic.

“Through close cooperation, Finnish operators have been at the forefront of developments in Europe, helping create safe airspace management for drones,” says Ari Aalto, Vice President, Mobility and Transport at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. VTT is investing in research collaboration in this field in several national and international projects and cooperation forums. “Finland must remain an active player in order to keep up with other countries,” Aalto continues.

“Establishing airspaces for unmanned aviation is one of the most significant steps we can take towards efficient urban air transport. These solutions will open up business opportunities many of which we probably cannot even anticipate yet,” says Research Team Leader Petri Mononen from VTT.

In recent years, there have been several projects in Finland exploring the use of drones for various applications. Late in 2022, Fintraffic and VTT jointly ran a test under the Drolo project in Oulu, involving the operations of drones beyond visual contact with the aid of new digital services that will be introduced commercially at a later date. Fintraffic is currently developing a new generation of digital services that will form a basis in Finland for the coordination of manned and unmanned aviation and for commercial projects.

U-space is a system of systems designed to ensure the safe operations of any number of future aircraft, such as drones.


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