Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam begins trial with inspection drones

A one-week trial with inspection drones will begin at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. During the trial, taxiways, small buildings, and aircraft will be inspected by drones. There will also be drones that transfer light goods between different locations.

Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam begins trial with inspection drones

The trial aims to find out if the use of drones in this manner is desirable and feasible for the future. The drone inspection test will take place for one week, starting on June 24th. The trial will be conducted in collaboration with Air Traffic Control the Netherlands, the Dutch Drone Delta as well as the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee and Transavia, according to Aviation24.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has created temporary regulation that allows for the drone inspection tests to take place at Schiphol Airport. All other drone regulations will stay in place during the test period.

“Our plan is to integrate drones into our airspace in the future so that unmanned and manned aircraft can operate safely side by side. That is a challenging task. We see the current, quieter airspace as an opportunity to practise this and test procedures. In this trial, we can gain initial experience regarding how to safely fly both manned aircraft and drones at Schiphol,” said José Daenen, Director of Operations at LVNL

The drone flights will be operated by certified parties who will stay in direct contact with Air Traffic Control tower. Any other use of drones by unauthorized pilots in the vicinity of Schiphol Airport will remain expressly prohibited as usual.

“There is currently 85% less air traffic at Schiphol compared to the same period last year. This is extremely unpleasant for airlines and many travellers, but also gives us the opportunity to carry out a test like this. Based on this trial, we would like to find out if using of drones is helpful to organise processes more efficiently, sustainably and effectively. We are pleased with the temporary arrangement and proud that – together with our partners – we have been able to set up this trial so quickly,” said Hassan Charaf, Head of Innovation at Royal Schiphol Group

The drone flights will take place at a safe distance from active runways and taxiways. Different drones will be used at different altitudes throughout the trial period.

“Drones and manned aircraft will increasingly share airspace in the future. The most concrete form of this interaction will take place at airports, so conducting this trial is an important step. During the trial, Dutch Drone Delta will be looking at the procedures and techniques as well as public support. What do visitors and staff at the airport think about drones flying around?” said Stephan van Vuren, initiator of Dutch Drone Delta

One of the goals of the drone inspection trials at Schiphol Airport is to determine how the procedures that are designed for the use of drones at airports work in practice.

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