The official kickoff for the WiNDroVe project took place in the ZAL TechCenter on 30 June. The name stands for "Wirtschaftliche Nutzung von Drohnen in Metropolregionen" - "Commercial Usage of Drones in Metropolitan Areas". The network project is sponsored by the SME innovation forum of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), "Innovationsforum Mittelstand". Over the next nine months, it will analyse and further develop the framework for the commercial usage of so-called Unmanned Aerial Systems - UAS.

There is vast potential for the commercial use of drones, for example in the maintenance of wind turbines or in the construction industry. In the future, they will allow many tasks to be carried out significantly faster, more cost effectively and above all more safely than is currently the case. The regulatory environment currently poses a substantial hurdle to more extensive commercial use. The regulatory framework was simply not conceived for the new segment of autonomous aerial vehicles, and in the future it will have to encompass them and make their operation compatible with existing air traffic regulations.

Hamburg is the ideal place to address this challenge. The city is home to numerous established industries, such as logistics, aviation and renewable energies, where the commercial usage of drones is plausible. At the same time, the city has the advantage of "short distances" when it comes to official regulatatory issues - which are a decisive factor, especially in such a densely populated area as the City of Hamburg.

WiNDroVe was therefore able to achieve one important success from the very beginning: for the first time, all those involved in this young segment gathered at one table. A total of 34 people from 20 institutions took part, ranging from companies and service providers specialising in UAS to representatives of the authorities. In the coming months, the WiNDroVe committee will split into various working groups to focus on clearly defined tasks. The goal is a two-day closing conference in the ZAL TechCenter at the end of the year, where project findings will be presented and next steps agreed.

Note: The WiNDroVe network is still open to interested parties after the launch. New members are welcome. Contact for the project:

Christina Grosse-Moeller
Manager Projects & Quality
ZAL Zentrum für Angewandte Luftfahrtforschung GmbH
Tel. +49 40 248 595-121
christina.grosse(at)zal.aero

Starting page photo: Drone Directory