Groningen Airport Eelde has fantastic ambitions in the field of sustainable electrical flying and flying on hydrogen. During an event that happened on Thursday, the airport signed a cooperation agreement with the British start-up Electron Aviation. A drone flight was likewise performed for the first time in the controlled airspace of a Dutch airport outside the sight of the pilot.

BVLOS exemption

Groningen Airport Eelde is presently the only airport in the Netherlands that has an exemption to operate drone flights in regulated airspace (BVLOS). Such flights are a start to freight and even guest transport by methods of drones. The very first BVLOS drone flight from Groningen Airport Eelde was performed by Drone Delivery Services. In addition, a range of one kilometer was bridged. Vodafone network innovation was used for the connection.

According to Egbert Swierts of Drone Delivery Services, the pilot flight is a crucial start to the further advancement of long-range drone flights in the Netherlands. “The reality that we can now run pilot flights from our home base Groningen Airport Eelde provides a great deal of point of view for the future: the amalgamation of manned and unmanned air traffic is now really within reach.”

Electric flying

In the future, electric aircraft must also start and land at the Groningen airport. The objective is to carry out these flights entirely emission-free. According to Electron Aviation director Josef Mouris, it is possible that Copenhagen, Paris, London and Hanover can be reached by electric airplane, among others.