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Amsterdam Drone Week 2024 Propels a Global Discussion on the Future of Drones and Urban Mobility

Monday, 29 April 2024

The sixth edition of Amsterdam Drone Week (ADW), held from April 16 to 18 at RAI Amsterdam, was once again a showcase of innovation and forward-thinking within the drone industry. The event attracted experts, technologists, policymakers, and enthusiasts from over 60 countries, coming together to explore and discuss the latest technologies and integrations in unmanned aviation.

The thousands of international visitors witnessed more than 250 speakers, delivering over 75 hours of panel discussions, showcases, workshops, and presentations on the future of Air Mobility.

ADW 2024 also hosted the first Global Air Mobility Conference, supported by international partnerships with organizations such as ICAO, EASA, the FAA, European Commission and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. This conference focused on forming a global framework for future air mobility regulations. Michele Merkle, Director of the Air Navigation Bureau at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) emphasized that “the European Commission in its Drone Strategy 2.0 forecasts a vibrant future where the UAS services market in Europe alone could reach €14.5 billion by 2030, supporting nearly 150,000 new jobs.” She also said that “ICAO is making efforts to integrate unmanned aviation into the existing global aviation framework securely and sustainably. It highlights the specific areas where regulatory efforts are concentrated, emphasizing the importance of international standards and collaboration to ensure safe and efficient operations of remotely piloted aircraft systems globally.

Barry Koperberg from Wing For Aid emphasized the importance of drones for humanitarian aid. He discussed how drones can be used to deliver life-saving goods to hard-to-reach areas, and how crucial international cooperation and uniform regulations are for the success of such initiatives.

“Amsterdam Drone Week 2024 proved to be a critical platform for sharing knowledge, fostering international cooperation, and advancing innovations that will shape the future of drone and air mobility technologies”, Nynke Lipsius, director of the Amsterdam Drone Week concluded after three days. “The diversity in applications, from commercial transport to humanitarian aid and urban mobility solutions, underscores the versatility and potential of drones in various sectors and industries.

Future strengthening

Discussions at the event further covered important themes such as the harmonization of regulations within the EU, and the challenges and opportunities for drone operations across borders. Jeffrey Vincent, Executive Director at the UAS Integration Office of the FAA stated: “Our continued engagement with European partners, including the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, Eurocontrol, as well as other member states and international organizations including the International Civil Aviation Organization and international platforms such as Amsterdam Drone Week is absolutely critical to future strengthening relationships, mutual understanding and dialogue, all of which are essential elements fundamental to accommodate a completely new paradigm in aviation.” These dialogues underscored the importance of a collaborative approach and the need for standardized rules and procedures to ensure smooth implementation of new technologies.


One of the most discussed topics this year at ADW was the progress in certification and the preparation for commercial operations. Jose Ignacio from EHANG shared exciting developments about obtaining a type certificate for their unmanned aircraft systems, enabling them to now transport people commercially. This marks a significant step forward in the commercialization of drone transport services.

Dirk Hoke from Volocopter provided an overview of his company's progress towards commercial air transport operations with eVTOLs. The discussion included the expected start of their services in cities like Paris and Rome in 2024, and a year later in Osaka, ushering in a new phase of urban mobility that is both sustainable and innovative.

New initiatives

Now that ADW has increasingly become an established name in the rapidly developing Air Mobility and Drone industry, leading organizations are choosing the event to announce new initiatives. Ellen Aartsen from KPN highlighted how telecommunications companies like KPN plays a crucial role in bridging the gap between current regulations and the advanced capabilities of drone technology. KPN is working on a Proof of Concept for measuring population density using telecommunication data to enable safer and regulated drone flights, which is essential for automating drone operations.

The Amsterdam police introduced a specialized drone team during ADW 2024, a first in the Netherlands, aimed at enhancing public safety and maintaining order. This team highlights the growing role of technology in public safety and lays the foundation for further innovation in airborne law enforcement.

The insights shared this year confirm that the future of drone technology is not only promising but is now truly approaching. With ongoing advances in certification, integration in urban areas, and new regulatory frameworks, we are taking significant steps towards a more connected and accessible world.

Global collaboration

ADW 2024 saw the announcement of a strategic partnership with the Global UTM Association (GUTMA), emphasizing ADW's commitment strengthening the Air Mobility Ecosystem worldwide. With insightful sessions, including "Making the market function – the small print of data exchange and governance" and "The cyber wall: a cyber-proof UTM industry" powered by GUTMA, this collaboration enriches discourse at ADW, fostering innovation and synergy within the global UAS community, driving forward the future of scalable Air Mobility Services.

Shaping the future

Amsterdam Drone Week 2024 once again proved to be a crucial platform for Air Mobility and Drone technology. “With a focus on collaboration, innovation, and regulation, ADW continues to make a significant contribution to shaping the future of unmanned aviation and technology. The next edition promises even more groundbreaking innovations and opportunities for global collaboration”, Nynke Lipsius promised.

Notably, the announcement of a strategic partnership with the Commercial UAV Expo marked the expansion of this premier US trade fair into the European market. This collaboration promises to elevate the conference and trade fair experience by focusing on both futuristic urban air mobility and practical applications under current regulations.

Amsterdam Drone Week 2025 will take place in RAI Amsterdam from 8 to 10 April 2025.