Launch of ‘Industry-First’ Drone-To-Go Inspection Solution for Enterprise

Launch of ‘Industry-First’ Drone-To-Go Inspection Solution for Enterprise

Drone-To-Go: An industrial inspection drone solution that enables Enterprise to develop and launch a drone capability in just three months

Sky-Futures, the world’s leading provider of drone-based inspection solutions, has today announced the launch of Drone-To-Go, a full package drone solution for Enterprise. The out-of-the-box solution distinguishes itself in the marketplace by providing companies not only with a physical drone capability but also with a complete package including drone pilot training, regulatory support, software and services to ensure Enterprise-ready deployment.

With its new solution, Sky-Futures aims to enable Enterprise to be up and running quickly with a drone-based inspection capability supporting their specific market sector needs. The Sky-Futures solution provides all the tools to get started as well as on-going support as organisations scale up their drone operations.

We’re offering both the strategy and the capability to roll out a programme in less than three months, rather than the 12-18 months minimum of going it alone, which entails a lot more cost. The drones marketplace is still new, and if businesses are going to reap the radical cost and efficiency benefits of drones they need more than the best hardware and software; they also need advice and guidance to embark on the right strategy. So when a company wants a drone inspection capability, we’ll provide a one-stop-shop for everything needed to get up and running in record time, while making our leading drone software available too. James Harrison

Co-founder and CEO, Sky-Futures

Sky-Futures has built a reputation for experience and expertise in the drone marketplace, with its co-founders on the boards of several drone bodies and organisations. Sky-Futures CEO, James Harrison, has worked closely with the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry (DIT) and was invited on a recent UK Prime Minister-led trade mission to Japan. This trip followed investment into Sky-Futures from one of Japan’s largest trading houses, Mitsui & Co. The partnership between Sky-Futures and Mitsui was launched during the UK government trade mission to Japan, with Mitsui investing $4m in Sky-Futures to support continued expansion and product development.

Because this is still a new area, many organisations don’t know or realise the capabilities of drones. Our aim is to help them understand the value and opportunities. We have case studies that highlight significant safety and cost efficiency benefits from drone-based industrial inspections – across oil and gas, utilities, engineering, shipping and other industries. These often result in millions of dollars in savings. With the shift towards Artificial Intelligence, including machine learning and computer vision, we are fundamentally changing the way inspection is done. The technology is truly disruptive and the impact on any organisations’ bottom line and profitably cannot be ignored.
We believe drones are a disruptive technology that will profoundly improve the operations, safety and cost-effectiveness of major business organisations around the world. We see ourselves as a specialist company able to advise and guide in that process, offering expertise and assets that will fundamentally change the way they operate. Our new Drone-To-Go solution is a perfect example of that approach. James Harrison

Co-founder and CEO, Sky-Futures

International Franchise Programme launched by Petronas President & Group CEO

International Franchise Programme launched by Petronas President & Group CEO

Petronas President and Group CEO, Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, officially launched Sky-Futures Malaysia, the first Sky-Futures Franchise. The launch happened at the Oil & Gas Asia Exhibition at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre on July 12, 2017.

The first franchisee is Essem Group of companies, who are regional operational integrity specialists in the South East Asian Oil & Gas industry. Essem Group provides a comprehensive range of project supply, operations and maintenance solutions.

Since 2009, Sky-Futures has established itself as the world’s leading provider of drone-based inspection services to the global industrial markets, with a focus on vertical infrastructure. This expertise, operational knowledge and experience have been employed to develop ground-breaking software, sensor and technology solutions for the industrial inspection market. A core part of the strategy for Sky-Futures is the focus on a local first approach. By creating an International Franchise Programme, Sky-Futures can partner with established local companies with a strong track record to ensure a win-win approach for the local Franchisee and Sky-Futures.

Sky-Futures has extensive experience operating in over 23 different countries and has provided inspection solutions for over 40 companies including PETRONAS Carigali, Amey, E.on, Costain, Lloyd’s Register and Shell, with over 10,000+ hours of remote pilot experience. Our end-to-end solution for inspection, data collection and data analysis has demonstrated significant benefits in risk-reduction, safety enhancement and cost benefits in numerous industrial sectors. This experience means Franchisees take an existing pipeline, credentials and cutting-edge training and software to market immediately. Existing and new customers can buy services, training and software with confidence from a Franchise partner, with local support and experience.

For more information and to inquire, please visit our Franchise Programme

3 key areas of a complete drone inspection services for Enterprise

3 key areas of a complete drone inspection services for Enterprise

Where do you go to get an end-to-end Enterprise drone inspection solution?

The marketplace for drones and Enterprise solutions is a busy place. There are likely thousands of companies offering drone-based solutions to Enterprise. Everything from a managed service to drone pilot training to some form of a software platform. The options for the Enterprise customer are plenty and varied. The difficult task for Enterprise is finding the solution that offers the right value and the right product. Value doesn’t simply mean financial. Value comes in many forms: experience, expertise, market vertical knowledge, operational understanding, technology, etc. The list is long.

If you are an Enterprise about to embark on bringing a drone capability in-house, what is it that you need to get started?

With almost 7 years of experience in the drone inspection marketplace, Sky-Futures have seen the emergence of a lot of companies providing excellent solutions to specific industry problems but very few offering a complete package. These ‘single instance’ solutions work well in isolation but they still require Enterprise to go elsewhere for the other links in the chain.

Several years we saw that the market was changing. We recognised that as drones commoditised and became more automated it would make better financial and operational sense for Enterprise to bring this capability in-house. An in-house drone inspection program also allows for greater operational flexibility; get the data when you want it not when your service provider can get it for you.

A complete drone inspection package to help you get your drone operation off the ground

If you are thinking about starting a drone-based inspection program in your company, the best solution for you is an end-to-end drone package. Listed below are 3 key areas you should want as part of the package to help you get your drone operation off the ground:
Drone Training: training is so much more than learning how to fly a drone. The drone is the device that supports the sensor(s) that collect the data you want. If the pilot doesn’t know how to collect high quality, usable data sets in a safe manner then they are not adding value. Find a training school that has a purpose-built facility and one that teaches real-to-life, scenario-based inspection training. You want your company pilot to be taught how to use the drone as an inspection tool. Flying figures of 8 in the backyard of a hotel is not the right training for your company drone pilots.
Consultancy: Find a company who knows what it means to set up and run a drone operation. They will then be able to pass on their experience and expertise to you. Look for a provider who can deliver a range of services including everything from a bespoke Operations Manual, country-specific drone licenses, inspection and data capture procedures to set up a formal Safety Management System (SMS). A drone operation needs to reflect the workings of a manned aviation business. The drone is still an aircraft and there must be a high standard of internal compliance.
Drone Inspection Software: An in-house drone operation includes both the drone mission planning element and the data analysis and inspection reporting. Look for software that can provide you with this end-to-end capability. It is also important to mirror your existing inspection workflow with a software platform that compliments it. Sky-Futures Expanse Flightdeck and Inspection platform deliver end-to-end solution support not only mission planning but data analysis and delivery. This ensures compliance, management oversight and a high-quality data product.
The final bit of advice is to think about what the end goal is – usable data. Drones can provide Enterprise with high quality, consistent and repeatable data sets if there is a professional operation set up to deliver this. However, to get there, it is important to recognise the value of the 3 key elements listed above. If you can find a provider who can deliver an end-to-end package then you have found the key to a successful Enterprise drone operation.

For more information on how Sky-Futures can support your company in building an in-house drone-based inspection solution please contact us

Aviation Minister launches new UK drone regulations at Sky-Futures Training Academy

Aviation Minister launches new UK drone regulations at Sky-Futures Training Academy

Lord Callanan the UK Aviation Minister from the Department for Transport today launched the new proposals for drone legislation in the UK. Launching the proposals from the Sky-Futures Training Academy in Morton-In-Marsh, Gloucester with support from Sky-Futures and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS), the key message from Lord Callanan was that “Our measures prioritise protecting the public while maximising the full potential of drones”.

Prior to the media interviews, the Minister heard from MAWWFRS, one of the most experienced emergency services globally using drones, on how they are being used daily to gather operational intelligence to assist in fighting fires, find missing persons and in search and rescue. MAWWFRS have been using drones since the first remote pilots were trained by Sky-Futures in September 2015, and now have 17 pilots, with the majority also having received night rated training. The Minister also heard from Sky-Futures Co-founder and CEO James Harrison on how they provide an end-to-end solution for industry and are trusted to provide software, training, services and consultancy to large engineering companies including Costain and James Fisher PLC.

The proposals unveiled today are aimed at separating the hobby drone market from the professionals which is a sensible step, and puts a greater emphasis on the private sector to set industry-specific standards, such as the Oil and Gas UK guidelines for drone use. Best practice is being pioneered in the emergency services sector with new initiatives such as by Sky-Futures trained Kent Police launching a dedicated public web page to their drone use

The consultation process, which was deliberately and rightly wide-ranging, resulted in proposals to have an app based registration scheme for hobbyists.

This is a sensible approach, although more detail is needed. Making it easy for hobbyists to fly safely and responsibly is key to the growth of this new technology.

James Harrison

Co-founder and CEO, Sky-Futures

Sky-Futures CEO Joins the Mayor of London Trade Mission to Madrid

Sky-Futures CEO Joins the Mayor of London Trade Mission to Madrid

Sky-Futures, the world’s leading provider of drone-based software, training and services to global industrial markets, has been selected as one of 24 companies to join the Mayor of London’s Trade Mission to Madrid as part of International Business Programme’s latest mission; the Market Visit to Europe.

Over its last 70 operations, Sky-Futures has successfully saved over 10 years* of people working at height in industrial inspection through the smart use of drone-based technology. James Harrison, CEO of Sky-Futures, will join the mission on Madrid leg, which is focused on Smart Infrastructure, IoT Companies and Smart Cities.

Sky-Futures is trusted by the largest companies in the world; we enable them to utilize drones to manage their physical assets and process inspection data through our analytics and cloud-based software. We are excited to have been selected for the Mayor of London’s Market Visit to Madrid as a high-growth B2B company.

James Harrison

CEO & Co-founder, Sky-Futures

Sky-Futures was one of 24 companies selected to join London Mayor Sadiq Khan on a trade mission to the United States in September 2016. The initiative was designed to help high-growth B2B tech companies identify partnerships and to explore business opportunities in the US and this latest mission in Europe represents another step in achieving the same overall goal in Europe.

I am delighted that Sky-Futures is joining me in Madrid as we showcase some of the most innovative and entrepreneurial businesses London has to offer. The Mayor and I look forward to working with Sky-Futures, to build new relationships, attract investment and show the entire continent that London is Open and the best city in the world to do business with.

Rajesh Agrawal

Deputy Mayor for Business, Mayor of London

Notes to Editors

*This figure has been calculated based on drone inspections being 4 times more efficient than rope access and using 2-person drone inspection teams rather than 4-person rope access teams.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is this week visiting Paris and Brussels to make the case that, despite Brexit, London remains open to business, investment, talent and ideas. Sadiq is visiting these key European capitals in a bid to strengthen economic, business and cultural ties between London and its European neighbours. At the same time, representatives of companies on the Mayor’s International Business Programme – which helps London based companies with growth and export opportunities – are accompanying the Mayor in Paris, while others are with Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, in Berlin and Madrid.

Success interoperability flight test between manned & unmanned aircraft

Success interoperability flight test between manned & unmanned aircraft

Sky-Futures, a leader in drone-based technology, and Bristow Group successfully conducted their first interoperability test between a helicopter and an unmanned aircraft at Galliano, Louisiana, achieving a major milestone in the companies’ joint efforts to implement a complementary service to clients in the Americas Region. The collaborative effort, which was the result of comprehensive planning and safety analysis, was a critical first step in the evolution of a process proving that Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and manned helicopters can operate safely in the same airspace.

These interoperability trials provided valuable insight and learning for safe operations between manned and unmanned aircraft using electronic conspicuity technology. As specific categories of commercial unmanned operations develop, we expect this technology to become a pre-requisite. Future airspace must be interoperable and Sky-Futures will continue to work with its trusted partner, Bristow, and regulators globally to safely realize this future.

Nick Rogers

Co-founder & Chief Regulatory and Training Officer (CTRO), Sky-Futures

For the 20-minute exercise, the Bristow Sikorsky S-92 hovered 500 feet above ground, while the UAS flew towards the helicopter, maintaining a horizontal distance of 200 feet away from the aircraft. The Sky-Futures unmanned aircraft was stepped up in 100-foot increments to an altitude of 400 feet above ground level (AGL). The S-92 pilots were able to monitor the position and altitude of the UAS on their iPad during the entire flight, without actual visual contact of the device.

The successful execution of this interoperability test is an excellent step forward to demonstrate that helicopters and UAVs can operate safely as a complementary service, providing additional opportunities for Bristow and Sky-Futures to jointly offer a higher level of situational awareness for our aircrews, and safe, new and innovative services to commercial and government clients.

Jonathan Baliff

President & CEO, Bristow Group

As UAS activity increases below 500 feet, effective communication between manned and unmanned aircraft will become essential to safe operation. Sky-Futures USA now equips their UAS with ADS-B when operating offshore.

Notes to Editors

Sky-Futures operated an AscTec F8 UAS with a Ping-2020 ADS-B system mounted to its frame. The Ping-2020 is FAA approved and developed by uAvionix, a California based company that specialises in developing the smallest and lightest transponder systems available. Bristow operated the Sikorsky S-92 and received the ADS-B signal using ForeFlight’s Stratus 2S. The Stratus receives the Ping-2020’s data and displays the UAS position and altitude on an iPad carried by the pilots.

About Bristow Group

Bristow Group Inc. is the leading provider of global industrial aviation services offering helicopter transportation, search and rescue (SAR) and aircraft support services, including maintenance and training, to government and civil organisations worldwide. Bristow and its affiliates have operations in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the North Sea, Nigeria, U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Russia and Trinidad, and in most of the other major offshore oil and gas producing regions of the world. Bristow provides SAR services to the private sector worldwide, and to the public sector for all of the UK on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. For more information, visit Bristow Group website

Launch of drone mission planning & fleet management software Flightdeck

Launch of drone mission planning & fleet management software Flightdeck

Sky-Futures have launched Flightdeck, the latest addition to the Expanse® software suite for professional drone missions. Flightdeck offers drone operators an integrated cloud-based solution to safely plan and execute commercial drone operations as well as manage pilots, drone equipment and mission information in one place. Compliance and audit tasks for drone operations can now be done quickly, easily and securely in the cloud.

This latest addition to the Expanse® suite has been developed out of Sky-Futures’ experience as the world-leading drone-based industrial inspection service. Sky-Futures is now sharing this expertise with customers; enabling them to deliver safe and professional drone operations. The Sky-Futures operational toolkit is integrated into this easy-to-use application to ensure effective compliance and risk management.

The Expanse® Flightdeck platform is the next tool supporting our clients with an end-to-end solution for their professional drone operations. Flightdeck delivers drone mission planning, complemented with the AirMap airspace management platform.

Chris Blackford

COO & Co-founder, Sky-Futures

Flightdeck is compatible with all drone types and provides situational awareness about airspace rules, requirements, and temporary restrictions powered by AirMap, the world’s leading airspace management platform. Users of DJI drones can also download flight telemetry and visualise it in 3D in the Flight Playback function.

We’re excited to welcome Sky-Futures to AirMap’s community of drone manufacturers, developers, and innovators. With Flightdeck, drone pilots can benefit from both Sky-Futures’ expertise in managing commercial drone operations and AirMap’s tools for situational awareness. The result: more informed operators and safer, more efficient flights.

Ben Marcus

CEO, Airmap

Flightdeck offers enterprise a global overview of their missions, personnel and equipment for consistent and effective management of operations and risk.

Sky-Futures awarded 3-year global contract to inspect Eni facilities

Sky-Futures awarded 3-year global contract to inspect Eni facilities

Sky-Futures, a global leader in innovation with drone-based technology, has been awarded a 3-year contract to inspect Eni facilities globally.

Eni, one of the largest operators worldwide in the Energy Sector, operates in 66 countries. This global contract is the first of its kind between a drone-based technology business and an international oil and gas company and represents a significant shift in the oil and gas market.

By partnering with Eni we can further enhance the benefits on offer by analyzing and forecasting operational issues before they happen.

James Harrison

CEO & Co-founder, Sky-Futures

Sky-Futures offers leading-edge drone data capture, inspection analysis and visualisation technology enabling clients to operate more safely, efficiently and cost-effectively. By analysing data and delivering standardised and quality-assured reports in Sky-Futures’ Expanse software, it is possible for stakeholders to access the latest information on their assets immediately, securely and from anywhere in the world through the cloud.

Sky-Futures, leader mondiale dell’innovazione tecnologica basata sull’utilizzo di droni, si è aggiudicata un contratto di 3 anni per ispezionare impianti Eni a livello globale.

Eni, uno dei più grandi leader mondiale nel settore dell’energia, opera in 66 paesi. Il presente contratto globale è il primo nel suo genere tra un’azienda fondata sull’utilizzo di droni e una società internazionale di servizi petroliferi e rappresenta un cambiamento significativo nel mercato del petrolio e del gas.

Grazie alla collaborazione con Eni possiamo migliorare ulteriormente i vantaggi offerti attraverso l’analisi e la previsione di problemi operativi prima che accadano.

James Harrison

CEO & Co-fondatore, Sky-Futures

Sky-Futures offre soluzione all’avanguardia per quanto riguarda l’acquisizione di dati con sistemi APR, la loro analisi e la loro visualizzazione, consentendo ai clienti di operare in modo più sicuro, efficiente e più economico.. Analizzando e fornendo queste informazioni tramite il suo software Expanse, Sky-Futures permette di migliorare ulteriormente l’efficienza e di ottenere altri risparmi. Con report standardizzati e di qualità garantita accessibili da qualsiasi luogo e in modo sicuro nel cloud, il personale può accedere immediatamente alle ultime informazioni relative alle loro strutture.

Sky-Futures Drone Inspection Technology Featured on NBC Today News

Sky-Futures Drone Inspection Technology Featured on NBC Today News

NBC’s Keir Simmons recently visited our Sky-Futures Training Academy and delivered this very cool report on the innovative ways in which drones are being used to save lives.

Drones may be useful for a lot more than just delivering packages: Their manoeuvrability enables them to enter buildings and tight spaces where people cannot go, giving them huge potential for firefighters and rescue teams. NBC’s Keir Simmons shares a first look at the new technology.

Watch the full story on how drone technology is being used to save lives

Sky-Futures Launch New Part 107 Training Online Course for US FAA’s exam

Sky-Futures Launch New Part 107 Training Online Course for US FAA’s exam

Sky-Futures is rolling out an online drone training tutorial course. The new course will enable persons and organisations in the US to pass the FAA’s Part 107 exam.

For the past two years, Sky-Futures has established a reputation for high-quality training; Sky-Futures Training Academy (SFTA) alumni include Emergency Service and Enterprise clients from around the world. Safe use of drone technology is at the forefront of all Sky-Futures training situated among its state of the art facilities to provide fit-for-purpose training. Most recently, Sky-Futures has established SFTA USA at Disaster City at College Station in Texas.

All UAS pilots that wish to operate in a commercial capacity must take this Part 107 exam. The exam has the potential to be challenging for those with little or no aviation experience. Thus, this Sky-Futures course distinguishes itself from other online Part 107 tutorials by focusing on material most likely to be tested. The topics that make up the bulk of the FAA test are covered extensively and effectively reviewed by quizzes generated at random from a 250-question test bank.

This course was designed to enable an efficient learning process and a successful outcome. Our critical understanding of safe commercial operations has enabled us to prioritise applied theory in the online content to capture baseline Part 107 competencies.

Jay Forte

VP Operations, Sky-Futures

With the launch of the Part 107 Online Tutorial Course, Sky-Futures is bringing to market a product that will ensure the best possible start for a business to enact its drone strategy. Sky-Futures aims to provide fit-for-purpose Part 107 preparation to enable operators across the USA to leverage drone technology confidently and safely, in accordance with FAA regulations.