NewsNews15 June 2018

"1+1 media" is concerned about new restrictions from the State Aviation Service on the use of drones

According to "1+1 media", the temporary Rules for the use of airspace, including the procedure for using drones for filming, limit the freedom of the mass media in Ukraine and deal a serious blow to the work of news services.

In the current version, the restrictions, in our opinion, can be interpreted ambiguously and create a threat of arbitrary interpretation by officials. Also, the new rules contradict the Law on Information, limiting the access of Ukrainian citizens to timely, detailed and objective information.

The media group has been practicing filming with the help of drones for more than two years when creating informational and entertainment projects. In news production, there is a regular need to use overhead shots to assess and illustrate the scale of an event or disaster. In particular, during the fire at the PMM warehouse near Kyiv or the explosions in Kalynivka, TSN of the "1+1" channel was on duty around the clock at the scene of the events, using drone footage and informing viewers of what was happening. At the same time, the new Rules do not provide an opportunity to continue the practice of such filming, since, in particular, paragraph 4.6 prohibits flights over "places (areas) of accidents and disasters (except those involved in the elimination of their consequences and search and rescue operations)."

Adhering to the restrictions, footage of traffic jams and large-scale road events will also become scarce and illegal, as flights over state roads, railways, central streets of cities and villages are now prohibited. In fact, in this way, a ban on flying and filming with copters over any populated areas of the country is introduced, and the restriction of flights over power lines further expands the prohibited zone.

According to the rules, flights are also not performed over "other important state and potentially dangerous objects, except for the cases of flights with the permission of the authorized bodies." In our opinion, such generalized formulations provide an opportunity for ambiguous reading and create a threat of arbitrary interpretation of the rules by officials. After all, in fact, an official of any level will be able to prohibit the use of a drone by referring to a document adopted by the State Aviation Service, considering any object in Ukraine to be important or potentially dangerous.

We agree that this issue requires state regulation, but the Rules adopted in the current version are more like another attempt to restrict freedom of speech and the work of mass media, therefore they require a thorough adjustment. The "1+1 media" group is open to dialogue and is ready to take an active part in public discussions regarding the finalization of the Rules.

We would like to remind you that on June 1, 2018, the Temporary Procedure for the Use of Airspace entered into force in Ukraine. He touched, in particular, on the procedure for using drones for filming. According to the rules, it is now not possible to climb higher than 50 meters, fly over roads, crowds of people, state institutions, private estates, and if it is necessary, then the application should be submitted no later than 10 days before the flight.

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