Bringing Drone Services In-House
Drones are beginning to prove their worth right across industry; saving time and money, delivering richer data, and reducing safety risk. The technology is rapidly improving too. Many drones are now capable of flying in all weather, improved battery life gives longer flight times and new features and ways of working with drone data are helping to deliver better insight in shorter timeframes.
The process of becoming a qualified pilot is not too onerous as a few thousand CAA PFAW (Permission for Aerial Work) pilots will tell you. So, what’s to stop asset owners from bringing drone inspection services in-house rather than reaching out to commercial professionals like us?
Although it may sound counter-intuitive, the answer is… not a lot. A commitment to the training and qualification process, an investment in the hardware (and keeping that hardware up-to-date), and a sound-understanding of the benefits will get most asset-owners off-the-starting-block in a relatively short time-frame.
We recognise this option is only going to be relevant to large organisations, those who already employ full-time asset or maintenance teams and are prepared to train them (and then it isn’t going to be the right investment decision for everyone). But for those who commit themselves to the process, in-house services shouldn’t be a surprising strategic maintenance option.
If there’s a gap in the process, it’s the additional knowledge that companies like us have built up that can only really be learned over time:
- Approach and confidence to fly very close to potentially dangerous assets.
- Refinements in process made by working with multiple Concept of Operations documents.
- State-of-the-art drones and knowledge of payload choice.
- Understanding of best angle of approach.
- Relationships with NATS and emergency services.
- Strategy approach in response to weather, and so on.
But it’s these skills that we can transfer to asset owners to help get the best from an in-house approach and close the gap between PFAW qualification and sector-specific flying. A bit like owning the latest Ferrari and driving it everywhere in first gear, we’ve seen one or two organisations who’ve bought a commercial-spec drone and are only scratching the surface of its capacity.
Drones can deliver a great deal of content to improve maintenance decisions and wow the stakeholders. As one of the most established drone operators in the UK, we can help you understand how to use this remarkable tool and become much better aerial inspectors in your own sectors.
Get in touch today and talk to us about in-house training for your sector.