Airline pilots fly construction drones during lay-off

A drone company specialising in construction work and staffed by airline pilots has reported a surge in business since the covid-19 pandemic hit.

Skylapse Media is owned and operated by qualified airline pilots who fly for various global flag-carrying airlines and who are facing uncertain futures due to the impact of the pandemic.

Clients include Interserve Construction, Willmott Dixon, Canbury Construction and RDG Engineering.

Skylapse director Charles Read said: “Using state-of-the-art drones and patented software, we are able to provide site managers and construction companies with real-time snapshots of progress to date. We’ve seen an uptick in business as the pandemic has gone on.”

Aerial photography of project progress is proving popular: “We fly round a fixed route of the site bi-weekly or monthly, then professionally edit the images to produce a stunning time lapse from the sky.

“We also provide restricted access images of hard-to-see areas of the project. 2D and 3D mapping and modelling capabilities allow site planners to develop ideas and move the project forward in a safer environment.”

Read highlighted the USPs of Skylapse staff being people who are trained and certified to fly Boeings and Airbus aircraft: “As airline pilots, safety and security are ingrained in our DNA. We bring our coolness under pressure and our standard operating procedures to every drone job, so our clients can rest assured that they are getting the highest quality drone operators available with hundreds of hours of commercial drone flying and thousands of hours of commercial plane-flying behind them.

“There’s also a cross-over between the technologies involved in flying drones and the technologies we use when flying A380s. With Skylapse, you can rest assured you’ve not hired a hobbyist who’s going to fly the drone into the nearest crane.

“Also, we have special relationships with the Civil Aviation Authority and national air traffic control services and sometimes we’re able to get permissions that other drone companies can’t get.”

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