Equipment/Technology

Dutch potato grower starts own drone airport

Dutch precision farming pioneer Jacob van den Borne recently started his ‘own’ airport called Agri Drone Port Reusel to be able to legally use the drones he wants to use for monitoring his about 450 ha farm.

According to Dutch news agency NOS, Van den Borne has been using drones since 2010 to monitor his potato fields. However, lawful restrictions hindered him from flying bigger and heavier drones and multiple drones at once.

Besides, his farm is not too far from Eindhoven Airport. Van den Borne’s farm is also home of a Precision Agriculture Practice Center supported by the Dutch government and Europe. This urged him to find a solution and so he did.

Van den Borne applied for an official airport status in order to get a license and he succeeded, which means that pilots from manned aircrafts, both civilian and military, have to take notice of his drone flights. He now is also entitled to fly RPAS/drones with a maximum payload of 150 kilo up to 300 m high above his 80 ha big ‘Reusel Airport’ from 3 dedicated start and landing zones.

He appointed an official airport manager, a former pilot, who is responsible for the communication about anticipated flights to the authorities and to civil and military airports. At Agri Drone Port Reusel, every drone pilot is welcome to test and practice.

Source: Article by Rene Koerhuis, Precision Farming Specialist. Published on Future Farming