For some time now, various drone applications are being tested in the Northern Netherlands. From May 2021 onwards, yet another one has been added to this list: testing how drones can been used within the logistics industry. These tests are being conducted in collaboration with – among others – Hive.Mobility, the Province of Groningen and @North. Recently, the European Union Member States have announced that an agreement has been reached regarding establishing a new airspace class especially for long-distance drone flights.
Due to this development, legal grounds have been put in place which shall allow drone innovation to really take off in Europe. Yet there still is some work to be done over the coming years such as technique testing, establishing procedures particularly in order to guarantee safety both in the air as well as on the ground.
Egbert Swierts, founding partner of Drone Delivery Services BV and owner of a drone academy at Groningen Airport Eelde: ‘’Together with four other founding partners we have managed to create a company during – as well as inspired by – the corona crisis that shall fully focus on creating a new modality within the parcel delivery world. By joining forces, we have been able to integrate our various competencies and experience into one innovative company. Jan Wiersma (the owner of Vliegend.nl) for example, has an excellent track record as a system integrator in the field of advanced drones as Frans Hamstra likewise has as a programme manager in the autonomous transportation sector, while he also has a background in public transportation system. Lars de Kloet works as a business consultant with a passion for the innovation domain.
Drone Delivery Services’ first objective is to establish connections with future clients and end users. “We shall have to discover how to fit in our drones within existing logistic chains in safe and efficient manner”, says Wiersma. “The video shows how our drone is used for a demonstration at a potential end user. In this way, we strive to share our knowledge as well as to gain new insights. This particular drone is very suitable for the Dutch sea climate, thus allowing it be operational more days a year.” De Kloet adds: “Because we aim to remotely control our drones from a central control room, we would like to discover – in collaboration with our clients – how to organise this machine-man interaction as well and safe as possible. In the future, this will allow us to offer a fast, safe and above all smart alternative to the existing modalities”.