Oil & Gas UK have launched their seminal drone guidelines to industry, ‘Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations Management Standards and Guidelines’, in partnership with an expert panel, including Sky-Futures.
Nick Rogers, Co-founder and Chief Regulatory and Training Officer (CRTO) at Sky-Futures was part of a small panel of experts selected from Oil & Gas UK members tasked with drawing up these landmark drone guidelines for the Oil & Gas industry. The group was made up of representatives from three major oil and gas companies (BP, ConocoPhillips and Shell) and two drone service providers. Sky-Futures used its substantial experience in the field of drone operations delivery on oil and gas installations around the world since its founding in 2009 to make a significant contribution to these guidelines.
Wider adoption of new technology in the industry is critical for future business and commercial success. Most importantly, this is reliant upon a safe integration of technology. Oil & Gas UK is a highly effective and proactive industry body with unique aviation heritage, therefore, it was a natural step to work together to draw up these guidelines. It is an exciting development since it is the first publication that has been written by industry for industry. I expect these guidelines to provide the ‘blueprint’ for use of drones for in the global Oil & Gas Industry.
The launch of these landmark guidelines by Oil & Gas UK marks a significant step forward in the investment in the safe integration of new technology, particularly drones, in the industry. Sky-Futures critical involvement in the establishment of guidelines reinforces Sky-Futures commitment to safety and the reduction of risk, and its position as an industry leader.
The technology is particularly attractive for its use in improving safety. For example, sending unmanned aircraft instead of people into confined spaces to conduct inspections reduces risk, and is also effective and efficient. We expect their usage to grow. The intention is to encourage offshore operators planning on using this emerging technology to think about the whole operating and safety system offshore and not just the air vehicle. The guidelines have evolved from lessons learned in recent years and provide information about best practice, procedures and the certification needed to be compliant with UAS regulations.