NLR became the country’s first approved training organisation for commercial operators of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) on 10 November 2015. These systems are often called drones. Successful completion of approved RPAS flight training is a precondition for applying for the required licence (RPA-L).

NLR is the first organisation in the Netherlands to be accredited by the Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment as a training body for RPAS pilots. NLR’s accreditation covers:

  • theoretical training for qualification as an RPAS pilot (all classes);
  • practical flight training for the following classes:
    – (H) helicopters and Multi Rotor Systems weighing from 0 to 25 kilograms;
    – (A) aircraft weighing from 0 to 25 kilograms.

The theoretical training consists of a 3-day course (including an examination) at the NLR headquarters in Amsterdam. Subject to successful completion of this part of the training, the trainee can start practical training at the Dutch RPAS Test Centre at the NLR site in the province of Flevoland. This teaches trainees how to pilot the drone properly in a controlled manner in difficult situations with due attention to the surroundings.

More information about the theoretical training can be found here.
More information about the practical training can be found here.

The Netherlands imposes stringent technical requirements for an RPAS used for commercial purposes. Compliance is checked by means of a comprehensive technical examination performed by an accredited approval authority. ILT accredited NLR as an RPAS approval authority on 1 September 2015.