Drone Trials To Be Conducted At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Because of the reduced amount of aircraft movements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and LVNL have announced that it will conduct a trial involving drones with cameras for inspection of taxiways, small buildings and aircraft, as well as drones that transport light goods between different locations at the airport.

By conducting the weeklong trial, the potential benefits of drones are being explored, such as the inspection of structures for example, like the asphalt surface which perform operational processes such as de-icing. The drone will supply aircraft parts for maintenance and examine if the uses are both desirable and feasible for the future.

The regulated use of drones will be permitted at Schiphol Airport until 24th June 2020, due to a temporary regulation introduced by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management that lifts the ban on regulated use of drones by designated parties in Schiphol Airports operations. The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate has given a positive assessment of specific applications. However, all other bans and obligations will continue to apply.

How Will The Drone Flights Be Conducted?

The flights will be conducted in coordination with Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) by certified parties who have direct contact with the air traffic control tower. LVNL took the lead in obtaining this temporary arrangement after seeing the opportunity arise amid a significantly lower amount of flight movements due to the coronavirus crises.

The tests will take place within a safe distance from runways and taxiways that are being used for air traffic. On various designated platforms there will be visible testing and at various heights with different drones. The aim of the trial is to show how the procedures designed for the use of drones at airports work in practice.

José Daenen, Director of Operations said:

“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.”

Hassan Charaf, Head Of Innovation at Royal Schiphol Group commented:

“There is currently 85 per cent 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 the use 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”.

If you are a commercial drone operator based in the Netherlands and are looking to obtain drone insurance, you can obtain a quote via our easy to use online system, or by contacting a member of our team.