Safe operation of aircraft and drones during Rally Estonia 2022
As in previous years, the Estonian Air Navigation Services (EANS) has been of help to the organisers of Rally Estonia in regard to air navigation safety. More than usual air traffic is expected in a relatively small area in connection with the 2022 rally, due to which flight restrictions have been put in place to ensure the safety of both ordinary aircraft and drones.
Kalmer Sütt, the head of the Aeronautical Information Department at EANS, says that his agency’s number-one priority is ensuring safety. “That’s why we’ve put restrictions in place on aircraft and drones entering the control zone and terminal control area of Tartu while the rally’s taking place,” he explained. “Tõutsi airfield and the Maaritsa and Mäha helicopter landing pads can be used during the rally, but all arrivals and departures will still need to be coordinated with the organisers.”
A WRC filming helicopter will operate in the immediate proximity of the speed trials, following a determined flight path. The need for medical helicopters and the Police and Border Guard to use the airspace should also be taken into account, as should the fact that some rally guests will be moving from trial to trial by helicopter. All aircraft movements will be monitored from take-off to landing to ensure the safety of pilots and spectators alike.
Tartu Airport will be open for longer than usual during the rally because of the times at which the speed trials are scheduled to end.
Drones are not permitted to be flown during the rally
The rally organiser (Estonian Autosport Events) has established restricted flight zones to ensure safety in the rally area. In order to ensure that airborne drones do not endanger spectators or other aircraft, the flying of drones (including hobby drones) is not permitted in the vicinity of the speed trials. Drones flown without permission will be confiscated by the organiser with the help of a drone catcher.
Only those who are involved in the organisation of Rally Estonia and who have the approval and permission of air traffic control are permitted to fly drones. Any unauthorised airborne drone will be confiscated and the person flying it will be held liable in accordance with the law, including for any collateral damage caused by such a drone.
Full details of the restrictions are available on the Estonian Air Navigation Services website at aim.eans.ee