Urban air operations

The Value of ADW for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management

Friday, 17 March 2023

Amsterdam Drone Week asked some questions to Henri van Faassen, Director of Aviation at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, prior to NL Drone Day  

“Last summer, I started as Director of Aviation at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Within my department, there are many challenging issues in the field of Aviation: sustainability in aviation, regional airports, air safety, and the development of unmanned aviation. I began at a time when European drone regulations had been implemented in the Netherlands. Now a days new challenges are emerging, such as the implementation of U-space and the broad allocation of roles in the physical space. Two trends are emerging in aviation: a convergence of unmanned and manned aviation, and unmanned aviation is coming closer to people; literally.” 

“I was at a music festival in Rotterdam at the end of February, where drones were used for crowd control in an industrial complex, it was a bit uncomfortable at first, but security no longer had to manoeuvre through the crowd. However, all these new applications come with a host of fresh challenges, this requires good cooperation with the parties responsible for safety and liveability in the inhabited areas, both in the air and on the ground.”

The Value of ADW for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management 

“The ADW is one of the biggest unmanned aviation events on the globe, bringing together all interested parties. It serves as a fantastic representation of the Netherlands and our position in the world in this innovative industry. All the new challenges that I mentioned earlier come together here and are discussed at an international level. Ultimately, the entire aviation industry faces the same challenges.” 

Dutch Unmanned Aviation's Core Parts 

“A proper development and implementation of existing regulations. The practical feasibility is of great importance for those who enforce and oversee the rules, as well as for those who must comply with them. Additionally, we aim to have a say in the creation of necessary new regulations at an international level. That regulatory framework forms the foundation on which the sector, together with us, can realize innovative and new, socially relevant applications.”  

NL Drone Day Sneak Peek 

“I'm confident that on NL Drone Day, we can work with the drone sector to take collaborative steps towards shaping the development of drones in the Netherlands. This year, we are honoured to have the Drone Council Netherlands, which was established among others to help shape the drone ecosystem, have a prominent presence throughout the event. IenW will mainly serve as a host for NL Drone Day, and I am looking forward to welcoming and getting to know the pioneers of the Dutch drone sector. I will definitely try to keep that day free in my schedule so I can get directly involved with the challenges in this innovative industry.”

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