On Wednesday morning, Bergen Airport in Flesland was closed after a drone was observed. A drone was also seen at Forde Airport. The same thing happened at Sola Airport and Haugesund Airport, which Both are closed Sunday evening. Before the weekend, there were also police reports of a drone being observed at the Karstow gas processing plant.
The events join a series of recent notes.
Regulations regarding the use of drones in Norway today require intelligence and a willingness to make the effort to comply.
That’s what chief engineer Nils Håheim-Saers at the Norce research institute told Dagbladet. He specializes in drones and autonomous systems.
Basically, there are three regulations that must be adhered to in order to be able to fly a drone in Norway, he explains.
Aviation Law A relatively recent, common European regulation governing aviation safety. In short, the purpose of the regulations is that drones do not threaten flight safety, or pose a risk to people on the ground.
Regulations on “Airborne Sensors” A collective term for equipment that can obtain information about the Earth from the air, including drones. Therefore, the National Security Service (NSM) has introduced a number of restricted areas for installations and facilities that require protection against national security surveillance and mapping.
Exclusion zones can also be extended, for example during defensive drills, so it is important to keep abreast of developments at all times, Håheim-Saers points out.
The regulations also cover the use of sensors other than photo/video outside of these restricted areas. This means that if you will be flying in areas not covered by the ban, for example, with heat sensors or laser sensors, this must be reported to the NSM.
Nature reserves and protected areas – Here the pilot of the drone must familiarize himself with the regulations that apply to the area in question.
– In general, it is very difficult for everyone to comply with the regulations as stipulated. It’s not very clear, Håheim-Saers says.
The chief engineer also believes that there are no consequences for improper use.
– Very few were arrested.
It is also not improved by the fact that Norway’s most widely used drone mapping service, DJI, does not reflect Norwegian regulations, Håheim-Saers points out.
– If the map had done that, everyone would have had the help of technology to do the right thing.
“As it is today, there are probably many people using this type of drone in Norway who misunderstand and think that as long as it is not organized in the map that comes with the drone, it is fine,” he adds.
I’m looking for a maker – not a salad
With a DJI drone, it is like you are applying to the manufacturer for a code to unlock the drone in a restricted area, not the Norwegian authorities.
– It should be the case that you are applying to the Norwegian authorities, not to the Chinese manufacturer, he thought.
Managing Director Anders Martinsen of UAS Norway – an organization involved in the drone industry, disagrees that the regulations in Norway are too complex.
– If you want to fly a drone in Norway, there is information available relatively easily. As a pilot, you have a responsibility, and if in doubt, you should ask. True, it takes effort, but it will do the trick. It is not a human right to be allowed to fly drones. Getting used to driving a car is also complicated, Martinsen tells Dagbladet.
However, it does give Håheim-Saers full support in claiming that there are very few reactions to improper use.
We see very little reaction to illegal flying. This is especially true of flying outside of what is registered near airports — that is, in other places where it is illegal, he says.
According to a survey by the Opinion for Norwegian Drone Barometer, 464,000 Norwegians had a drone in November of last year.
The typical drone pilot in Norway uses the drone for entertainment and hobby. Drones are also used for commercial purposes, for example to document homes to be sold, designate an area or be used by police and coast guards, explains Chief Engineer Håheim-Saers.
– What do you think of all the drone sightings we’ve seen lately?
It might be both government actors who stress social security and state security testing to try to find out how strong we are as a society and a country, or the police are getting more messages from the public because they are now obligated to do so.
Drone ban request
On Wednesday, Ledderny told Dagbladet that it Calls for a nationwide ban on drones Until the security situation improves.
The Ministry of Transport wrote in an email to Dagbladet that it has now asked the Norwegian Aviation Authority to consider various forms of banning the use of drones.
– Both national bans and bans near important infrastructure. This temporary ban should not, as much as possible, affect companies and authorities that rely on the use of drones to carry out important missions. We must get back to whether these measures are appropriate, as soon as we receive the assessments from the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority, investigation lead Tor Livius Midtbø writes in an email to Dagbladet.
He also says that both the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority and Avinor are closely following the situation, and that the ministry has no basis for saying that drone activity in Norway has increased.
Justice Minister Emily Inger Mehl said at a news conference on Thursday that tougher regulations on drones were being considered.
– But we have to bear in mind that there are different considerations here. There can be important and good purposes for using drones.
Mehl said the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority is now reviewing the rules and making an assessment of whether those rules should be tightened, while the NSM is looking into rules for exclusion zones for critical infrastructure and airports.
Drone expert Knut Roar Wiig of Nordic Unmanned told Dagbladet TV that there is a significant aviation safety risk when people fly drones near airports.
– If there are drones in the air, you cannot fly. It’s a big risk. He explains that if there are drones in the air that you can’t control, you also can’t pilot a helicopter.
He says the regulations in Norway are being fully implemented, and that most drone operators respect the regulations.
He describes it as surprising that there have recently been clear examples to the contrary.
We’re interested in being able to do this safely and securely, and when it’s pretty clear that someone doesn’t care about regulations, you’d be surprised.
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