Because 1 September, drone operators wanting to operate a flight in the port location of Zeebrugge (Belgium) have to ask for prior approval via an online tool. The measure arises from the truth that the port is classified as a Geographical UAS zone. Previously this year, the seaports of Antwerp, Ghent, Terneuzen and Vlissingen put in location a similar tool.

UTM application

For managing drone traffic above the Port of Zeebrugge, a collaboration has actually been entered into with Idronect. The port area is a geographical UAS zone, where specific restrictions use to drone flights. The digitization of the applications makes sure, on the one hand, a more efficient handling and, on the other hand, a centralization of By including the existing EASA guidelines into the software application, Idronect’s Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) application assists to guarantee that each application abides by the regulations. The software application likewise pictures the planned drone flights and provides the port federal government a live view of the active drones in the port location.

Tom Hautekiet, CEO of the Port of Zeebrugge, is a rational step. “As a port, we want to be a driving force in terms of development and digitization,” states Hautekiet. “In all our projects, we wish to set an example while likewise offering support to our port customers. The cooperation with Idronect for drone traffic in our port is entirely in line with these goals. It is likewise another application that relies on the 5G network already installed in our port area in 2020. Thanks to the 5G network, numerous applications are possible for the port itself, however also for the business that are located there.”

Enhancing details circulation

Tom Verbruggen, CEO of Idronect, points out that his business is strongly devoted to security and development. “Thanks to the UTM application for the Port of Zeebrugge, on the one hand, we offer drone operators the chance to prepare and request their flights in a very intuitive way, and at the very same time we make sure that the port authority understands what is going on in the air above the port location,” says Verbruggen. “I am delighted that together, as two Belgian companies, we have been able to form a future-oriented service that is practical and innovative.”

The new tool, accessible via, optimizes the flow of details and supplies a clear and innovative service for all parties involved, consisting of concessionaires in the port location, the defence, the local cops, the shipping police and the MUG heli. The rules and handbook for using the website can be discovered on Zedis, in addition to on the Port of Zeebrugge website.


Earlier this year, the Port of Antwerp and the North Sea Ports Ghent, Terneuzen and Vlissingen utilized a similar permission tool. In the case of the port of Antwerp, it is a Unifly system. The North Sea Ports Terneuzen and Vlissingen use their own registration type. This means that operators operating in various port areas will have to handle different systems and workflows.