The former Valkenburg airfield would be an ideal place for an Unmanned Valley, in which businesses, knowledge institutions, and government institutions can cooperate to further develop unmanned systems. This was brought forward by Deputy-Mayor of The Hague Ingrid van Engelshoven at the opening of the TUSExpo in The Hague. This is the first conference in Europe entirely dedicated to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, also known as drones.
Cooperation as key to success There are plans to develop Valkenburg into a residential area. Van Engelshoven: “I am not against building new houses but I am in favour of innovation. With the presence of the national security cluster The Hague Security Delta, The Hague has become a security hotspot. We know like no other that cooperation between businesses, knowledge institutions, and governments leads to new opportunities. An Unmanned Valley guarantees space for practice and innovation. The Space Centre Noordwijk, TNO, TU Delft, Leiden University, and the partners of The Hague Security Delta will all benefit from this. We strengthen the knowledge cluster and create jobs.”
The Hague Security Delta’s report “A Blessing in the Skies? Challenges and Opportunities in Creating Space for UAVs in the Netherlands” endorses the Deputy-Mayor’s vision. The report contains concrete recommendations for the use of drones, including the importance of appropriate short and long term regulations and the development of special flight zones to test UAVs. The importance of cooperation between governments, the private sector, and knowledge institutions is emphasised as well. Read the report.
Watch the interview with deputy mayor van Engelshoven on RTV West (in Dutch)
Watch the interview with prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje on RTL Boulevard (in Dutch)
Watch the interview with prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje on RTL Nieuws (in Dutch)