Terminal C at Tromsø airport serves flights to and from Svalbard. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Police detains another Russian with drone and photos

A 51-year-old Russian citizen on his way to Svalbard was detained after photographing at Tromsø and Kirkenes airports.
October 15, 2022


Police in Troms said Saturday it had detained the man after he was observed taking photos at Tromsø airport.

Lots of photo gear, a drone, and memory cards are confiscated.

“The accused has admitted to having flown a drone in Norway,” said police attorney Jacob Bergh in a statement.

“Of the confiscated things we have reviewed, we have seen, among other things, images from the airport in Kirkenes and images of the armed forces’ Bell helicopter,” said Police attorney Jacob Bergh.

The arrest comes only days after another Russian citizen was detained at Storskog border checkpoint as he was about to leave Norway. The police found two drones in his luggage and many hours of recordings from different places in the country.

Russian citizens are not allowed to fly drones in Norwegian airspace, including at Svalbard and the 12 nautical miles sea territory from land.

Russia’s Embassy in Oslo on Friday issued a warning to its citizens coming to Norway for tourism purposes to avoid bringing expensive photo, and video equipment, as well as not taking images of Norwegian infrastructure.


Norway has recently introduced heightened security and preparedness around objects of key strategic importance. Several coast guard vessels are now guarding the waters around offshore energy installations and the Home Guard has mobilized forces on land.

The man was detained Friday morning and has according to the police said he entered Norway at Storskog on Thursday.  He was heading towards Svalbard, the Arctic archipelago where Russia is mining for coal in Barentsburg.


Russian citizens have since February 28 not been allowed to fly drones in Norwegian airspace, including here at Svalbard. Photo: Thomas Nilsen


Norway is now the only Schengen-member state open for Russians traveling with tourist visas. Minister of Justice, Emilie Enger Mehl, told the Barents Observer last week that the border can be closed “with a few hours’ notice” if the security situation changes.



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