The Hague Security Delta has presented its new report “A Blessing in the Skies? Challenges and Opportunities in Creating Space for UAVs in the Netherlands” at the TUSExpo 2015. The report was officially handed over to Deputy Mayor van Engelshoven and Prince Pieter-Christiaan van Oranje. The development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or ‘drones’, has experienced a significant growth in recent years and offer all kinds of opportunities to improve security in Netherlands and to boost this upcoming industry.
The report offers several concrete solutions to unlock this potential: - Adopt proper legislation to ensure that safety and security standards are respected, but also that they facilitate – or at least not unduly hinder – the development of a market for UAV technology in the Netherlands. - Formulate specific rules for police and fire brigades to enable them to fly UAVs over crime scenes and fires, and to bring UAVs used by law enforcement and emergency services units under the same regime as UAVs used by the armed forces. - Allocate more flying zones for conducting experimental, test, and training flights to help spur technological development. - Formulate a whole-of-government policy on UAVs to better respond to issues concerning UAVs.
The study shows that there is a lot of interest in UAVs in the Netherlands: police, fire departments, and other emergency services would like to put them into practice short-term. The same applies to commercial parties such as delivery services, farmers, and planners. At the same time, the Dutch technology sector is very enthusiastic about designing applications for UAVs.
Given the speed at which the UAV industry is developing worldwide and at which new applications come to market, the Dutch UAV sector can quickly come to arrears if important preconditions are lacking. Clear and distinctive regulations, which create a strong investment climate, are the most important precondition to get the UAV sector of the ground. The availability of clear and distinctive regulations, which create a climate in which companies are able and willing to invest to get a UAV sector of the land in the Netherlands, are most important.
The report provides a brief historical overview of UAV technology and also shows how markets in Europe and beyond have developed and how much space they offer for the UAV industry to flourish. The report also focuses on issues and concerns related to the growth of UAVs. It is for example important that citizens' privacy is guaranteed by both commercial and government parties and that UAVs are being used safely at all times.
By following the recommendations in this report, a big step in the right direction can be made in order to use UAVs in a responsible way in the Netherland and to further stimulate this technology sector.