One of the reasons that Amsterdam Drone Week is important to the industry is its focus on urban air mobility – the idea that automated VTOL aircraft may play a major role in public transportation systems. For a beautiful and historic city like Amsterdam, expanding highways is simply not an option – there is, quite literally, nowhere to go but up.
Now, the city of Amsterdam is considering the feasibility of a drone corridor – set routes where drones might fly without interfering with other air traffic. It’s a practical and proven way of integrating drones into the airspace quickly and safely.
The following is a joint press release.
Metropolitan area of Amsterdam starts exploring use of drone technology
RAI Amsterdam, Johan Cruijff ArenA and the municipality of Amsterdam will jointly explore the added value and feasibility of a drone hub corridor. Places in the city where electrically powered unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) can take off and land. The reason for this is a European project on Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and the fact that the European Commission and EASA have announced the new rules for drones.
Henk Markerink, CEO Johan Cruijff ArenA and Paul Riemens, CEO RAI Amsterdam, announced this during WeMakeTheCity in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. These urban issues about mobility, digital infrastructure and safety are the themes during Amsterdam Drone Week, December 4 to 6 in RAI Amsterdam.
Exploration starts after summer
After the summer, the municipality of Amsterdam, RAI Amsterdam and Johan Cruijff ArenA will start exploring the opportunities and possibilities that drone technology can offer for the city, its inhabitants and businesses. Waternet and GVB will also join the exploration. Johan Cruijff ArenA and RAI Amsterdam, for example, want to investigate the feasibility and added value of so-called eVTOL hubs. eVTOL stands for electric vertical take-off and landing, places where drones can take off and land without hindrance. Paul Riemens explains about the collaboration: “We want to investigate whether it is possible, for example, to organize blood or organ transports through the city with drones. Companies such as Uber, Airbus and Amazon say they are ready. However, it seems to me that social parties should also investigate what is desirable and feasible. This project is a first step in this direction and we cordially invite other parties to join in.”
Henk Markerink, CEO of the Johan Cruijff ArenA, sees the exploration as a logical step in the long collaboration between RAI and the stadium. “We are both smart venues and we believe in the opportunities and possibilities that urban air mobility can offer. For example, during events, drones could be an extension of support services and contribute to crowd control and safety inspection. So it makes sense that we investigate those possibilities, together with the municipality of Amsterdam, among others. ”
The municipality of Amsterdam is also closely involved in the exploration. Ger Baron, CTO of the municipality of Amsterdam, knows that urban air mobility will become a topic anyway: “It is possible, so it will happen. And then you have to ask yourself “how do you deal with that as a city?” As far as the municipality of Amsterdam is concerned, urban air mobility is not yet about passenger transport but about everything that has to do with assets. Then transport by air is very obvious. “According to Baron, it is therefore good that there is already “practicing”: “Then it concerns things like: How does the charging work? How do you use them as effectively as possible? Do the fire brigade and police both have to have a drone or can they be used in a multifunctional way? Amsterdam will probably be one of the first cities where this is going to play, so I like to be at the front.”
Nynke Lipsius, Event Director Amsterdam Drone Week, explains why RAI Amsterdam has taken the initiative for the exploration. “The Urban Air Mobility Demonstrator project (EIP-SCC-UAM) is a European initiative with the aim of exploring innovations with the application of drone technology within urban areas. The objective is that drones ultimately contribute to a sustainable, safer and more accessible city.”
About Amsterdam Drone Week
Amsterdam Drone Week (ADW) is the global Tech platform for sharing knowledge on current air solutions, potential innovations and vital regulations from 4 – 6 December in RAI Amsterdam. During three days all key players, big and small, commercial and non-commercial, from various industries, knowledge institutes and authorities, gather to co-create and co-operate. Creating urban air solutions together. For more information visit amsterdamdroneweek.com.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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