On May 22, the port of Rotterdam marked the aerial delivery by drone of a parts consignment to Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit, the biggest vessel in the world. This was the first drone delivery ever made in the Netherlands to a vessel.
This pilot project, which was set up by Dutch Drone Delta, Allseas and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, is intended to determine whether and how drone deliveries could increase transport efficiency in the port of Rotterdam. The airspace over the port area will be safely managed under the slogan ‘Rotterdam, the safest port to fly’, allowing parties to take optimal advantage of new technologies to make the port safer, smarter and more efficient.
Drone development is in full swing and this technology can have a major impact on traffic and transport. New European regulations have cleared the way for new applications. Ultimately, this may even include autonomous unmanned freight and passenger transport.
To this end, the next few years will be devoted to the phased preparation of airspace and drone technology. This recent delivery constitutes a major first step in this process, since it involved the delivery of an actual package following a long-distance flight by the UAV. While in this case, the delivery was still directly monitored by human observers, in the near future, it will be handled entirely beyond the pilot’s physical line of sight.