The Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) has prepared a signal report on drone incidents. In the signal report, the ILT mentions that the risk of collisions between recreational drones and manned aviation in particular has increased. The increasing number of recreational drones in circulation carries an increased risk.
In the report, the ILT identifies, through the Aviation Incidents Analysis Bureau (ABL), that the risk of collision between recreationally used drones and manned aviation is increasing.
Seven reports of near collisions between drones and manned aviation were received in 2018. Drones, used for recreational purposes, fly higher and higher, far above the permitted limit of 120 meters. There is a growing number of reports of drones that have been observed near runways at Schiphol, among others.
The increase in the number of reports as signaled by the ILT is worrying. Aviation safety and safety on the ground always come first. The use of drones offers many opportunities. For example, when it comes to supervision, smart logistics or inspection of difficult-to-access points, drones can be quick and efficient tools. Drones are relatively new, however, and much remains to be learned about drone operations and flight reliability.
It is therefore good that the ABL is actively monitoring this important new sector in aviation and that reports are made. More data is needed to make the analysis by the ABL more robust. That is why the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management has started a project with NLR to be able to structurally collect operational data from the drone sector, while at the same time minimizing the burden for this sector.