Groningen Airport Eelde to be Netherlands' drone airport

Groningen Airport Eelde (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Jcb)Groningen Airport Eelde (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Jcb)

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment granted DroneHub GAE - a cooperation between companies, knowledge institutions and the government - permission to fly drones from Groningen Airport Eelde, GIC reports.

DroneHub GAE will use the airport to experiment with integrating drones into normal air traffic. They will also test using drones in a number of ways, for example in delivering medicine to hard to reach places. Last week it was announced that Wadden island Schiermonnikoog agreed to participate in a test with drones delivering medicine. 

The expectation is that the first flights will happen late in the first quarter of 2018. These supervised flights will only be performed by qualified pilots. The test flights won't hinder regular air traffic, because they will initially be done in an out of the way place. Safety is the top priority, a spokesperson for the airport management said to GIC. 

For this experiment, DroneHub GAE is working closely with Groningen Airport Eelde and Air Traffic Control Netherlands.