Cees van Sprundel holds an MSc in Public Administration. He is working at the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment (Directorate General for mobility and Transport/Civil Aviation Department/Aviation Safety). After various positions in the fields of railway safety and road safety, road infrastructure, his current challenge is to facilitate the possibilities of drone innovation. Special focuspoints are policymaking and regulations for testlocations and how to inform dronepilots, industry, droneusers, enforcement, app builders etc. with basic reliable information and maps to enhance aviation safety.
The Dutch government confirmed in August 2015 to the Parliament the need and wish to facilitate the dronesector with the development of testcenters in the Netherlands in order to strengthen the innovation of drones. Although in practice there were already some testfacilities operational, the approval of tests and experiments with drones was based on current law and regulations. The reason is that no factual policy framework, regulation of standard procedures special on testing drones exists. In practice, they are all individual requests and exemptions based on current law and with a lot of administrative burden and costs. So, this is something that is going to change. A new framework and legislation is being developed and have to be implemented in 2017. A number of new (potential) testcenters are in the picture to get a recognition as a testcenter for drones. Special aspect in the Netherlands is that the governance is decentralized to provincies and municipalities. Ministries, decentralized bodies and the dronesector each have their own tasks and responsibilities and have to cooperate to make the innovation with experimental and testing possibilities to a succes. The mail goal with testcenters is that almost everything should be possible to experiment and test with drones with as little as possible administrative burden. Important is that responsibilities are clear and that the operation can be performed under risk based and safe conditions.