Following the Eemshaven in Groningen, Den Helder also gets its own DronePort. This has recently been discussed in the city council of the North Holland coastal town. The new drone airport is an initiative of the Maritime Drone Initiative (MDI) and is funded from the programme line maritime innovations as part of the Regio Deal. The DronePort will be realized in the coming years.

Expansion of Den Helder Airport

DronePort Den Helder will be on the grounds of Den Helder Airport. According to Den Helder Airport director Conny van den Hoff, unmanned aviation is a nice extension of the airport’s existing activities and facilities. But before the first drones can take off and land, there is still a need to be done: not only does physical infrastructure have to be built, it is also necessary to apply for a permit that allows dual use of airspace, in close consultation with the military air traffic control of De Kooy air camp.

Once the DronePort Den Helder is a fact, it can be used, among other things, as a base for drones that fly down the coastline to detect mouse flows and drowning. There are also plans to fly from DronePort with cargo drones over long distances to platforms and wind farms at sea. This is particularly important with a view to the construction of wind farms outside the coast: drones can carry out inspections of windmills or emergency deliveries in the future.


The development of DronePort Den Helder is co-coordinated by DroneQ Robotics. “Together with AirHub, we are core partners and partly responsible for setting up and executing the Strand Safe, Long Distance Cargo Drone Delivery projects and setting up the MDCC — Maritime Drone Command Center. To this end, METIP/NHN, DroneQ Robotics and AirHub have signed an agreement. With Phoenix-Wings, we are working on the further development of the cargo drones,” says John Troch of DroneQ Robotics.

The construction of the DronePort is funded from the Regio Deal, a cooperation between the Government and the province of North Holland, municipality of Den Helder, the partnership De Kop Werkt! and other public-private partners. The goal is to strengthen the living, living and working climate in the Kop van Noord-Holland. One of the parts of the Regio Deal concerns the development of innovative maritime technologies.

DronePort Eemshaven

The head of Noord-Holland is not the first Dutch region to get its own DronePort. In the Eemshaven in Groningen, a similar DronePort became operational last summer.