Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL) launched the GoDrone app that can be used on mobile devices and in browsers, available at godrone.nl. The app was developed for all drone operators in the Netherlands, and provides information about where you can fly your drone safely. By launching the app, LVNL wants to improve safety for the increased use of drones in the airspace.
“With the GoDrone app and browser app, we are taking a huge step in flying drones more safely in airspace that is also used by others, including aircraft and helicopters,” says Michiel van Dorst, LVNL CEO. “Launching this app is a first step towards making airspace more accessible for drones. I am looking forward to the upcoming period in which we will keep developing the app, with the ultimate goal of being able to provide air traffic control services to drone pilots. With this development, we want to create value for the drone sector and the Netherlands. Safety will always be our top priority.”
When a drone operator opens the app, it displays your current location. Based on that location data, you will see an overview of whether you are allowed to fly a drone in that area. If so, the app will also show the maximum flight altitude and any restrictions or exceptions. The app provides an overview of various zones in the Netherlands. Green zones are nature reserves, orange/yellow zones are areas where you could potentially encounter other low-flying traffic, and red zones are no-fly zones where drone flight is prohibited, unless you have written permission from the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) to operate a drone in that area. The app provides information for each area and explains the rules in effect in that area. In addition, the app can also provide details about obstacles (such as high-voltage power lines), flight activities in the airspace (e.g. parachuting), planned or reported drone flights, and current weather conditions.
Over the next few years, LVNL will continue to develop the information and options available in the app. One example is the possible option for drone pilots to submit a mission plan (drone flight plan) via the app for flight zones where drone flight is allowed under certain restrictions. The ultimate goal is to provide air traffic control to drone pilots via the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management (UTM) and the national installation of the European U-space concept. That will make it possible to provide air traffic control services to drones in the sky. The final goal is and will continue to be safe movement of drones and other air traffic in the same airspace.
GoDrone was developed in collaboration with Altitude Angel, a UK-based company, and is available for free download in the Apple Store, Google Play store, and can also be accessed via www.godrone.nl. This is the first version of the app, and LVNL invites users to give feedback via the app. The rules for flying a drone can be found on the drone pages provided by the Dutch national government and the ILT.