Dutch drones miss out through tough rules

The Dutch drone industry is lagging behind manufacturers in the rest of Europe because of the stricter rules which apply in the Netherlands.

For instance, it takes Dutch manufacturers weeks to get permission for a test flight. ‘That means we are much later to market than the European competition,’ Boris Langedoen of drone manufacturer Delft Dynamics, told broadcaster Nos.

There are also tight rules on flying drones in the Netherlands, since a new law was introduced two years ago bringing unmanned aircraft under the aviation law rather than the rules governing model aircraft, as had been the case.

Development

Langedoen, who counts the police and fire service among his clients, says he keeps to the rules. ‘But on some points the rules are so strict they are holding back development,’ he said.

There are also restrictions around flying drones in the vicinity of airports which can cause weeks of delay in applying for the necessary permits.

The Dutch government is working on new rules but the drone industry says it is dragging its feet and wants Brussels to align the law across Europe to create an even playing field.