Facing the Future: A Case Study of Dutch Regulatory Responses to Commercial Off-The-Shelf Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Related Safety and Security Issues

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This process tracing case study explains the how and why of Dutch regulatory responses to the proliferation of commercial off-the-shelf unmanned aircraft systems (COTS-UASs) and their related safety and security issues. The data collection methods that were applied are secondary research of related government documents and semi-structured qualitative interviews with Dutch experts on (COTS)-UAS, public safety regulation, and security. Important findings include how the most gains in terms of ensuring both safety and security are to be found working with, as opposed to against, the technology of COTS-UAS. Namely, by increasing transparency into COTS-UASs operations, and enabling attribution of flying drones to their direct operator both public safety and security can benefit. Increasing transparency and attribution requires regulation that mandates safety and security by-design features for COTS-UASs. However, mandating such features in the Netherlands was complicated due to cosmopolitan challenges stemming from the responsibility for regulating aircraft under 150kg having shifted from the national to the European level. Finally, security against hostile COTS-UASs can be increased by investing in existing intelligence and policing networks in combination with regulation that mandates safety, and security, by design features into COTS-UASs.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen