Drones come within meters of planes at Schiphol

A KLM plane at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam (Photo: David.gaya / Wikimedia Commons). (A KLM plane at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam (Photo: David.gaya / Wikimedia Commons))

A drone was seen flying within meters of three landing planes at Schiphol airport on Friday. The CDA is demanding stricter rules regarding drone use and a public campaign to explain to people what is allowed and what isn't.

According to broadcaster NOS, the pilots of the three planes informed air traffic control of the drone as they were approaching the Zwanenburg landing strip. The pilot of a KLM plane saw the drone flying about 30 meters under his plane. Another pilot noticed it a few hundred meters on his left. An Airbus pilot even reported three drones.

All three planes landed safely. Air traffic control decided to temporarily close the landing strip, which meant that numerous flights had to be diverted to other strips.

It is illegal to fly a drone near an airport. But according to CDA parliamentarian Martijn van Helvert, the rules are unclear. "You are not allowed to fly with drones near airports. But no one knows it", he said to RTL Nieuws on Sunday. He added that those who do know not to fly drones at airports, have no idea about the exact rules. "Where exactly are you not allowed to fly, and at what height?"

Van Helvert will be submitting parliamentary questions to State Secretary Sharon Dijksma of Infrastructure on the matter on Monday.