British drone company Skyports Drone Services (Skyports) has partnered with Australian drone manufacturer Carbonix, with the pair hoping to scale long-distance drone operations across the country with Skyports’ long-range vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft.
The first stage of the partnership will see Skyports procure international drone pilots for Carbonix. These pilots will run data acquisition missions for Carbonix’s portfolio of energy infrastructure and mining partners.
They will also be brought in to improve the manufacturer’s drone systems and improve operating procedures, with the partnership intended to help the company build its operational capacity long-term.
This partnership marks Skyports Drone Services’ first commercial project in Australia.
Alex Brown, director, Skyports Drone Services, said: “We don’t just fly, we also lead on regulation, compliance, safety management, airspace, and stakeholder management. Our partnership with Carbonix will apply this knowledge to boost operational capabilities and enable the company to scale its infrastructure inspection services.
“Proving the safety case for drone operations is crucial to the long-term growth and success of the industry. We look forward to sharing our operational knowledge to support Carbonix and promote the adoption of drone operations.”
Since commencing the partnership, Skyports Drone Services has supported Carbonix on more than 85 long-range missions, covering more than 1,500km across Australia to inspect power infrastructure for vegetation encroachment and asset management.
Further Skyports pilots will come online in October to support the drone-maker’s expansion.
Both companies hope to collaborate to build a world-class operator training programme and develop domestic talent to help upscale of long-distance drone operations in the country.