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Inspection drone trials to be conducted at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Because of decreased aircraft flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and LVNL (Netherlands Air Traffic control)  have scheduled a week-long drones trial, according to internationalairportreview.com.

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) has announced it will conduct tests involving drones with cameras for inspection of taxiways, small buildings and aircraft as well as others that transport light goods between different locations at the airport.

By conducting the trials, the potential benefits of drones are being explored, for example, to inspect structures like the asphalt surface, perform operational processes, such as de-icing and supply aircraft parts for maintenance as well as examine if the uses are both desirable and feasible for the future. The regulated use of drones will be permitted at Schiphol airport until June 24th. These flights will be conducted in coordination with LVNL personnel who have direct contact with the air traffic control tower.

Director of Operations at LVNL, José Daenen, said: “The plan is to integrate drones into our airspace in the future so that unmanned and manned aircraft can operate safely side by side. While that is a challenging task, we see the current, quieter airspace as an opportunity to practise this and test procedures. In this trial, we can gain initial experience regarding how to safely fly both manned aircraft and drones at Schiphol.”

The trials will take place at a safe distance from the runways and taxiways that are being used for air traffic. The aim is to show how airport procedures designed for drones work in practice.

Hassan Charaf, Head of Innovation at Royal Schiphol Group, said: “There is currently 85 percent less air traffic at Schiphol compared to the same period last year. This offers us an opportunity to find out if the use of drones is helpful to organise processes more efficiently, sustainably and effectively.”

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