Front Page: Traficom
Front Page: Traficom

Frequency issues for unmanned aviation

Drones and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) and their telecommand equipment contain radio equipment that must comply with requirements. European regulations provide that radio equipment must bear a declaration of conformity and a CE marking. The regulations on wireless devices and their use vary from country to country and it is possible that devices sold in foreign online stores generate interference in Finland, for instance. Devices should not interfere with other radio equipment when their frequencies and radiated power are correct.

Traficom steers and supervises the use of radio spectrum in Finland. By planning the use of spectrum, Traficom aims to ensure that sufficient radio frequencies, that are as interference-free as possible, are available to radio systems.

The transmitters and receivers in remotely piloted, or radio-controlled (rc), drones, helicopters and other aircraft (UAS/RPAS), hereafter referred to as unmanned aircraft, as well as in their flight controls are radio equipment. Therefore, they must meet the requirements set for such radio equipment.

Conformity of radio equipment (External link)

Buying and using radio equipment

When you are buying radio equipment from abroad or from an online store, find out and, if necessary, ask Traficom ( whether it is possible to use the equipment in Finland.

Radio frequencies

Command and control links

Unmanned aircraft is controlled wirelessly mainly from the ground. The flight control may be a radio transmitter or a more complex control and command station with a video display. The remote pilot, who is on the ground, can control the aircraft using command and control links and receive real-time information about the aircraft systems, such as the rotational speed of motors.

Frequencies for licence-exempt radio equipment that can be used for controlling unmanned aircraft are for example:

  • 2400.000–2483.500 MHz, in which case the transmitter's effective radiated power is either
    • ≤100 mW EIRP, if the applicable standard is EN 300 328 on the digital wideband data transmission equipment (WAS), or
    • ≤10 mW EIRP, if the applicable standard is EN 300 440 on general short range devices (SRD).
  • 5170.000–5250.000 MHz, in which case the transmitter's effective radiated power is ≤ 200 mW EIRP. The applicable standard is EN 301 893 on RLAN equipment.
  • 5725.000–5875.000 MHz, in which case the transmitter's effective radiated power is ≤25 mW EIRP and the applicable standard is EN 300 440 on general SRD.

Other frequency bands suitable for controlling unmanned aircraft can be found in the Traficom's Regulation 15.

The frequency band 5030.000–5091.000 MHz is, according to the Radio Regulations published by the International Telecommunication Union ITU, allocated to the aeronautical mobile (route) service and limited to aeronautical systems standardized internationally by the International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO.

Payload frequencies

Payload refers to other radio equipment than those used for command and control links. The most common payload device is a camera that can send real-time video feed from the aircraft to the ground. A thermographic camera or different measuring equipment may also be included in the payload.

Frequency bands 2400.000–2483.500 MHz, 5170.000–5250.000 MHz and 5725.000–5875.000 MHz may be used for the payload devices on board airborne unmanned aircraft.

More detailed provisions on frequencies for licence-exempt radio transmitters on board airborne unmanned aircraft are laid down in the Traficom’s Regulation 15.

Note! Use of the frequency band 5470.000–5725.000 MHz is not allowed in unmanned aircraft since 13 January 2023.

The frequency 1320.000 MHz is only meant for sending video feed from aircraft to the ground. Using this frequency requires a radio licence that can only be obtained for a fixed period.

Use of mobile network frequencies

Under Traficom’s Regulation 15, mobile network terminal devices may be used on board airborne aircraft without a licence if they are needed for certain official duties of the authorities or functions vital for the security of supply. This is a fixed-term arrangement valid until 31 March 2024.

If activities do not concern the authorities' official duties or functions vital for the security of supply, as referred to in Regulation 15, Traficom may also, with the consent of the relevant mobile operator, grant a radio licence that enables using mobile network terminal devices on board aircraft. The mobile network frequencies specified in the radio licence may be used for command and control links, payload connections or calls.

Short-term test licences are possible

Traficom may grant short-term test licences for tests and trials of RPA. Traficom assesses case-by-case whether a radio licence may be granted for the requested frequencies.

Traficom is the civil aviation authority in Finland

Traficom is responsible for ensuring that air transport is safe and as environmentally friendly as possible and for promoting the facilitation and flow of air traffic. Traficom considers aviation issues from the perspective of airline passengers, airlines, private pilots and airport operators.

More information about flying drones at (External link).