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Until a few years ago drones were mainly used for military purposes. In recent years, however, we have seen a significant growth in the use of drones by both individuals and businesses. Besides the fact drones have become smaller and more affordable for individuals, it is mainly the commercial use of drones that ensures a continuous increase. But how do we ensure the airspace remains safe and everybody complies with the rules?
Most people and businesses use drones mainly for taking photos and recording video. However, with the emerging use of drones for commercial purposes, we will probably see a shift to businesses using drones for a variety of other services. It is not unlikely we will be surrounded by drones from various delivery services in the future while walking in the streets. Amazon has a delivery service called ‘Amazon Prime Air‘ which allows them to deliver packages via autonomous drones, while Domino’s Pizza already delivered its first pizza using a drone. How long will it take before ‘drone’ is the preferred delivery option on websites such as Deliveroo and Alibaba?
Of course, future use of drones is not limited to delivering parcels or pizzas. British rock band Muse, for example, used drones to entertain their audience during their Drones World Tour and drone racers can win over $100.000,- during the World Championship drone racing. But with these emerging possibilities; how do we guarantee safe airspace access to the growing amount of drone users?
To ensure safe drone flights, now as well as in the future, there are new rules on flying drones since 2015 in The Netherlands. Previously it required an exemption for every drone flight; the new rules are designed to ensure commercial use of drones is made easier and more practical.
Nevertheless, for many businesses it remains difficult to gain insight into the rules that are applicable to their specific situation and what they need to do to comply with the rules. After all, laws are often not easy to interpret and can be subject to change.
The Dutch government offers online tools to help businesses find out which rules and requirements apply to them, quick and easy. These so-called ‘Regelhulpen’ (Regulatory Aid) are based on decision trees; after answering a few questions the user receives an overview of measures, calculations or other outcomes that apply to their specific situation. Truly tailored advice.
For businesses that consider using drones for commercial purposes, the Drones Regelhulp (only in Dutch) has been developed. This online tool tackles regulatory burden on businesses by allowing them to retrieve all necessary information in just a few minutes. After completing some simple steps in which they answer questions, businesses receive answers to important questions such as:
- Do I need a permit?
- Do I need to be a certified drone pilot?
- Can I fly my drone within 5 miles of an airport?
- Am I allowed to record video material?
The Drones Regulatory Aid is just one of the many examples of online tools the Dutch government offers to provide businesses improved services and help them in complying with the rules. Other examples in which decision trees are used include ‘Wetchecker energiebesparing’ (energy saving regulations check), ‘Privégebruik auto van de zaak’ (private use of company car) and ‘Betrouwbaarheidsniveaus voor digitale dienstverlening’ (reliability levels for digital services).
Interested in finding out how decision tree-based online applications work? Visit our Regelhulp overview (only available in Dutch) and try them out yourself.