Skanska/Costain/Strabag consortium secures government drone funding

A Skanska/Costain/Strabag consortium has won a share of the first tranche of the government’s £33.5m Future Flight Challenge drone fund.

The consortium is developing an advanced drone system that will facilitate better and faster exchange of information between offsite and onsite teams; help increase productivity and health and safety of onsite workers; and reduce the number of visits to site overall.

The solution from UK-based drone innovator teams human pilots operating beyond visual line of sight in a control room with highly-automated drones on the client site to enable the remote execution of complex, close-quarter missions on industrial sites. According to, this "solution unlocks the remote capture of aerial data at enterprise scale for the first time".

The technology will be tested on sites operated by Skanska, the Skanska/Costain/Strabag joint venture on HS2, Atkins and Sellafield’s in-house drone team. was founded in 2017 by four leading engineers from Apple, CERN, McLaren and hedge funds. 

John McKenna, CEO, said: "As the Covid-19 crisis continues, there is mounting pressure to keep our construction sites, industrial sites and infrastructure running, while protecting people’s health. Our solution will bridge the gap between offsite and onsite teams, allowing crucial work to continue and increasing productivity, without risking people’s safety."

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