With the rapidly-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus bringing back travel and meeting restrictions, in-person events are again getting canceled, moved, or delayed. Amsterdam Drone Week (ADW) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) High Level Conference on Drones, co-located events that were scheduled for mid-January 2022, are now expected to take place in March.
The newly-announced date for the three-day hybrid conference – happening both in-person and accessible online – is March 29-31, 2022.
As EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky explains:
The uncertainty of the current COVID situation poses a serious challenge to holding this event in January in the way we had intended. We have therefore decided to delay the event until late March, in the hope that by then the pandemic will allow us to present the event which so many in the drone community are longing for.
ADW organizers say that due to the stricter rules in various countries, it has become challenging for many partners, speakers, and attendees to travel to the RAI Amsterdam event venue at this time. And while going fully online is always an option, the platform would rather bring people back together when it’s safe to do so.
“However well we would be able to reach out to the world virtually with our existing hybrid set-up, we also know that there is a great need from the industry to be able to meet in person again after such a long time,” Paul Riemens, CEO, RAI Amsterdam, asserts.
Nynke Lipsius, Director, ADW, adds:
The last months we have been working backstage on a safe and hospitable event. We have to be realistic at this point in time and understand the current feeling of uncertainty and hesitation. Moving to March gives us more certainty to meet all partners’, speakers’ and attendees’ concerns.
It’s worth noting that this is not the first time ADW and EASA High Level Conference on Drones are being postponed. The events were originally scheduled to take place in December 2021 and were delayed to early 2022 due to the impact of the coronavirus.
The theme of the upcoming ADW is “Urban Air Mobility,” while the EASA event will focus on the theme of “UAM becoming a reality.” More details can be found on the conference website.
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