first amsterdam drone week clarifies vision on the future of drones

First Amsterdam Drone Week clarifies vision on the future of drones

Thursday, 6 December 2018

A safe and secure development of the drone industry, including all its applications and opportunities, requires cooperation and discussion. The foundations for this were firmly established during the first-ever Amsterdam Drone Week, which took place from 26 to 30 November in the RAI Amsterdam convention centre.

The launch of the self-driving ‘drone car’ Pop.Up Next attracted a great deal of attention from the world’s media, as did the FormulePFV DroneRacing event. Another major highlight was the fact that the European Commission, European and national authorities together with the industry adopted the Declaration of Amsterdam to advance safe, secure and green drone operations in Europe. Drones are here to stay, and Amsterdam is the place where the builders of the future come together. The next edition of the event has already been booked for December 2019.

Fast developments
The initiators of Amsterdam Drone Week were Paul Riemens, CEO of RAI Amsterdam (and former CEO of the Dutch air traffic control centre) and Patrick Ky, Executive Director of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). “Drone technology is already highly advanced and the possible applications widespread and relevant,” says Riemens. “Examples include managing traffic flows, inspecting critical infrastructure and providing emergency aid & disaster relief. Preparing for these applications requires cooperation, however, and there’s also a need for clear agreements and regulations to ensure applications are safe and effective.”

Shared engagement
These issues go above and beyond competitive interests: parties are working together under the auspices of Amsterdam Drone Week to further develop the industry in an efficient and responsible way. Riemens: “We must tackle this together, which is why all levels were involved from builders and service providers to users and authorities. The platform has a facilitating purpose; we aim to stimulate meetings and discussions and provide a place where knowledge and expertise can be shared and agreements made.” These words are already being proven in practice as competitors sit down together, with Boeing and Airbus even hosting a joint press conference with the EASA.

Amsterdam joins UAM initiative
The City of Amsterdam signed a covenant committing Amsterdam to join the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Initiative of the European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities. Over the coming months, the municipality aims to work with relevant market parties to establish a UAM pilot project in Amsterdam and explore how UAM can contribute to clean, circular, safe and well-regulated transport in the city.

Amsterdam Drone Week
Amsterdam Drone Week featured some 18 events including the EASA High Level Conference, panel discussions, the Unmanned Air Cargo Conference and various speaker sessions which brought together all those involved in drone developments. Amsterdam Drone Week clearly met a much-needed demand. The positive response from participants as well as the national and international media have strengthened the organisers’ resolve to continue and expand the event. The next edition of Amsterdam Drone Week will take place from 2 to 6 December 2019.

Note for the editor (not for publication):
For more information: Katelijn Wilhelmy, RAI Amsterdam, PR Amsterdam Drone Week. T: +31 (0)20 549 1714; T: +31 (0)6 23 91 86 26; E:

About Amsterdam Drone Week
Amsterdam Drone Week is a collaboration between the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and RAI Amsterdam. Partners included aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus as well as (passenger) transport and mobility companies Uber, Bell and IDS Ingegneria Dei Sistemi S.p.A. The Dutch minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, was ambassador for the week in which representatives from start-ups, technology firms and scientific institutes came together with policy makers from various countries.

About RAI Amsterdam
Bringing together people, both physically and virtually, expands borders... it inspires! RAI Amsterdam has been bringing different worlds, people and markets together, at home and abroad, since 1893. The RAI is an international exhibition and convention company which organises events in the Netherlands and abroad and operates the RAI Convention Centre in the Zuidas business district of Amsterdam. The RAI welcomes around 1.5 million visitors a year to approximately 500 events such as exhibitions, conventions and corporate and other events. The company also provides event-related services to organisers, exhibitors and visitors. For more information, visit