It has actually taken a while, however lastly the Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) has actually clarified the conversion procedure that RPAS Operator Certification (ROC licence) holders must follow in order to get approved for a European operating permit. Operators needs to submit their application and updated operational handbook prior to December 1, 2021.


As of 31 December 2020, the guidelines of the European Union (EU) for flying a drone will use in the Netherlands. These guidelines change the Remote Controlled Aircraft Regulation (ROABL). This suggests that both ROC light exemptions and full ROC permits will no longer stand after 31 December 2021, and from that date it will only be possible to perform drone flights according to the new European drone rules. The Open classification is intended for low-risk drone flights. No permit is required for this. Drone flights with a higher danger, for example because people wish to fly near individuals and buildings with heavier drones, should be carried out in the Specific classification.

For ROC light holders, a conversion treatment was initiated previously this year, with which the Open Category A2 certificate can be gotten. However for operators with a complete ROC, it remained unclear to date what the conversion would appear like. The issue was that all national exemptions and advantages might not be equated into the European design one on one. The ILT therefore had to draw up a ‘one size fits all’ risk analysis in consultation with sector parties and industry associations, that included all existing situations. The elaboration of that SORA took a long time.

Running Permit

The European operating licence changes the ROC, the RPA-L/LAPL and the BvL unique. With an operating license, an operator is allowed to fly in the Specific classification. This gives permission from the ILT to carry out a certain type of operation with the persons discussed in the application and kinds of drones. This is based upon the licensed opportunities.

So there disappear separate authorizations for pilots and specific private drones. The ILT deals with declarations rather, in addition to the operating license itself. These statements belong to the authorization. An operator requires a single operating license for all planned drone activities. Do the restrictions of the permit not fit any

future activities? You can send an application for

the change of the license. Treatment for transposition Due to the fact that the current national policies disappear at the end of December, some hurry is required. Operators will need to change their operational handbook. All referrals to the ROABL should be removed, and rather a variety of concerns that EASA needs concerning operators in the Specific classification need to be included.

For instance, one has to include an emergency situation reaction strategy (ERP), and include in the handbook that the treatments are trained. You will likewise require to add various responsibilities, definitions and treatments. The ILT has released an introduction on the website of all the actions ROC holders need to go through and the changes that should be made to the general public Service.

All requested data need to be sent out to ILT before 1 December. Just then can the operating licence be issued prior to 1 January 2022, presuming that all sent documents is correct and total. In addition, each operator must request an operator number from the RDW. This number needs to be listed on all drones.

Market Responses

According to the latest declaration of the ILT (June 2021), the Netherlands has 165 operators with a full ROC license. The majority of operators are active in the media industry. There are also many ROC holders who use drones for evaluations. Being enabled to fly in controlled airspace (CTR locations) and having the ability to fly with much heavier drones near individuals and buildings were the main factors to opt for a complete ROC.

Industry association DCRO invites the transposition procedure through Chairman Martijn Arkesteijn. “DCRO is alleviated that there is now finally clarity in the route of the conversion of the ROC to the operating license. Together with KnVVL, ILT, NLR and some independent advisors, we have worked hard over the previous period to “equate” the EASA policy into an enforceable routine for the ILT and a helpful dish for the current ROC holders, who will run in the ‘Specific’ classification. The last year and a half has actually been a very difficult duration for the professional drone market, since there was no clearness and instructions. That is really the only point of criticism: it’s all at the really last minute, so there is little time left to adjust the operational handbook and send all the needed statements. In addition, the DCRO ILT wishes to offer another knowing point: interact clearer, clearer and especially at the correct time. The roadway was bumpy at times, but we are eliminated that there is now clearness.”

Dronewatch is among the ROC-certified operators in the Netherlands. Wiebe de Jager: “I’m thankful ROC holders finally understand where they stand. It will not be easy to begin transforming everything in less than a month and getting the documents in order. And I have yet to see that the ILT gets whatever processed in December, specifically considering the holidays. I hope that the transposition is smooth so that we can continue to fly in the new year. An additional benefit of Specific is that the drones you fly with do not have to have a Cx label, as long as you can demonstrate that the drones can be safely released.”