On 1 September, 2015, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment’s Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate (ILT) accredited the NLR as the first organisation in the Netherlands to serve as Qualified Entity for the technical assessment of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), also commonly known as drones.

On July 1, 2015, legislation pertaining to RPAS came into force, thereby enabling the assessment of RPAS by a Qualified Entity. On this basis a Certificate of Airworthiness (CoA) for this specific RPAS can be obtained with ILT.

NLR has many years of experience with qualifications in aviation. With this expertise, the NLR makes a significant contribution to the safe flight operations with RPAS.

Acceptation assessment
Aviation regulations require that aircraft are airworthy. In order to be allowed to fly, each aircraft must therefore be granted a CoA, which ensures that the aircraft, design and production processes meet the strictest requirements. RPAS, however, are generally produced by manufacturers that have not been accredited for the applied design and production processes. For this reason, each individual aircraft must be subjected to an assessment.

The acceptation assessment includes a documentation review, ground and flight inspections. The flight inspection is conducted at the Netherlands RPAS Test Centre, situated at the NLR site in Flevoland. If an aircraft successfully passes the acceptation assessment, the ILT issues a Special Certificate of Airworthiness (S-CoA) for that aircraft.