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Making search and rescue missions more efficient

KNRM truck and AirHub




First responder


The Netherlands


Search and Rescue


The Royal Dutch Rescue Society helps and rescues people in need. With the help of a large team of volunteer rescuers, the KNRM is available 24 hours a day for (non-) emergency care. The foundation does this completely free of charge, and has been available since 1824.

The challenge

Search and rescue operations of the KNRM are carried out by land and sea. But not yet from the air. The KNRM currently receives air support from the coastguard in the event of major incidents and/or under complex circumstances. However, the KNRM is often the first in the vicinity of the incident. The search and rescue is then initiated from the lifeboat or coastal rescue vehicle. However, in many cases, air support can identify a drowning person or missing person more quickly, potentially saving lives. For this reason, KNRM has set up a test period for the year 2022 to see what added value drones can have in search and rescue.

We expect drones to have enormous added value when searching for drowning persons at sea
Jeroen Kodde, KNRM


AirHub has been working closely with the KNRM for a while now. The ROC exemption was converted by AirHub Consultancy at the end of 2021, as a result the KNRM has a Specific Category license in accordance with European Regulations. For the transition from the ROC license to the Specific Category, AirHub has set up a training day to explain the changes, the operational manual and the procedures to KNRM drone pilots. In addition, AirHub gave an extensive demonstration of the Drone Operations Center.

The planning feature for ad-hoc situations, the live stream functionality that offers the possibility to watch multiple stations, and the automatic log function are Important features for the KNRM. After all, every second counts in search and rescue operations. To this day, AirHub still supports the Foundation in its drone operations. For example, evaluation meetings are scheduled every two months, and AirHub is improving its software so that the KNRM can operate more efficiently.


Being able to deploy drones themselves, KNRM can respond accordingly in ad hoc situations. With features, such as the livestreaming feature, they have a clear overview of the situation and can easily cover more ground.