Port of Rotterdam drone demonstration day
On 6 March, Airwayz announced its successful demonstration to optimise commercial port operations at the Port of Rotterdam. ATM Magazine had a follow-up discussion with Airwayz following the demonstration day to better understand the outcome of the event.

With 220 attendees representing 15 countries, the level of interest showcased with this list of attendees is impressive. There were ANSPs, CAAs municipalities, drone operators, other seaports and industry bodies. Representatives came from across Europe, Singapore, Israel and the UK.

Looking back to the demo day this past fall, we discussed the evolution in what was showcased. The first demo day was focused on UTM functionality, whereas the second demo day was about the harmonisation of the ecosystem – ATM, ADS-B and the harbourmaster systems. Attendees were also able to see the drones flying to perform tasks within the port and visualise how to move from the lab to a real-life ecosystem.

The ecosystem consists of nine heliports and 40 drone operators. There was a visual demonstration of deconfliction, connection to the harbourmaster’s Automatic Identification System (AIS), ADS-B connection to helicopters, and an emulated ATM integration showing Dynamic Airspace Reconfiguration (DAR).  

Another interesting aspect of this second demo day was the involvement of the Port of Rotterdam boatman. This is the organisation that provides deliveries to ships. Currently, they support 120 deliveries per day to boats that could be up to 20 km offshore. The utilisation of drones for this task will greatly impact their efficiency and ultimately could reduce cost.

We’ll be looking forward to see the progression of the work Airwayz is doing with the Port of Rotterdam in the year ahead.