Isaac Bruns Content material Advertising and marketing Supervisor at Skyward
Again in July 2016, early within the days of business drones and a month earlier than Half 107 got here out, Skyward wrote an article that includes SkySkopes, a drone service supplier primarily based in North Dakota. Matt Dunlevy, president and CEO of SkySkopes, shared about his enterprise mannequin: hiring high-quality pilots, holding to skilled requirements, and offering worth to prospects.
Three and a half years later, the drone trade has modified enormously. Half 107 opened the door to extra drone operations, LAANC allowed entry to managed airspace, and dozens of drone service suppliers exploded in recognition — then flamed out and disappeared.
However SkySkopes remains to be as sturdy as ever. They supply companies to corporations within the power, utilities, transportation, and oil & gasoline industries. And Frost and Sullivan not too long ago named SkySkopes a prime 5 drone service supplier on this planet for his or her innovation, development, and superior use instances.
Skyward and SkySkopes are nonetheless working collectively right this moment. I not too long ago had the possibility to talk with Matt Dunlevy about how SkySkopes has saved discovering success when so many others didn’t. In the end, he defined, SkySkopes has executed it by staying true to the identical enterprise mannequin as in 2016.
1) Rent certified, skilled pilots
Matt defined that considered one of SkySkopes’s best strengths is their pilots. SkySkopes has a gentle provide of UAS pilots of their yard on the College of North Dakota’s John D. Odegard Faculty of Aerospace Sciences. Matt famous that UND provided the primary baccalaureate program within the nation for unmanned plane techniques operations, and he thinks their program could also be one of the best.
SkySkopes depends on its pilots to carry out secure, skilled work within the area. So SkySkopes has additionally branched out to recruit different drone pilots, particularly veteran navy UAS pilots. With data on all kinds of airframes, their experience is effective.
“The data that they gained with their coaching and expertise within the navy transfers very effectively into the industrial facet,” Matt mentioned. “There’s an analogous tempo and an analogous set of values — our core values being Security, Effectiveness, and Ethics.”
2) Set up sturdy, secure aviation requirements
Early on, SkySkopes realized security was essential to success. They wanted to determine customary working procedures that went past the letter of the regulation to keep away from potential incidents.
“Security is a part of our aviation tradition,” Matt mentioned. “In an trade filled with uncertainty relating to security requirements, we pile on certifications and have a ravenous dedication to continued training on this planet of security. I feel it’s much more vital as new airframes and totally different applied sciences are popping out virtually too quick for individuals to maintain up with.”
This concentrate on security units SkySkopes above different drone contractors with no confirmed security file. Excessive program requirements assist SkySkopes conduct enterprise safely and in compliance with laws.
three) Discover massive use instances in massive industries
Immediately, Matt says, SkySkopes is concentrated on bringing premier aerial intelligence and revolutionary options to the power sector. Most of SkySkopes’s purchasers are within the oil & gasoline or utilities industries, the place inspections are frequent and time-consuming. SkySkopes additionally inspects transportation infrastructure, guaranteeing that roads and railways keep open for enterprise.
SkySkopes focuses on delivering worth to their prospects. Which will imply accumulating uncooked knowledge for a buyer, or processing and delivering the entire job below one umbrella. Among the commonest jobs SkySkopes flies are:
3D mapping and modeling with superior LiDAR systemsElectro-optical and infrared inspectionsAsset inspections, equivalent to checking transmission and distribution buildings to make sure compliance requirements are being metRight-of-way inspections for pipelines and energy linesPhotogrammetry
Matt identified a capital environment friendly method to enterprise is a crucial issue of SkySkopes’s success.
“One key part of our success is listening to the top person and executing with an exactness,” Matt mentioned. “We’re ensuring we all know why they need what they’re asking for in order that we all know to not go too far in a single route or one other. Delivering with exactness and speaking with purchasers is completely key.”
four) Use an aviation administration platform like Skyward to scale
Within the early days, SkySkopes used Google spreadsheets and different scattered instruments to handle their drone program. It labored at first, and SkySkopes didn’t assume aviation administration software program was price spending cash on. However as SkySkopes started to develop, they shortly realized they would want an aviation administration platform to allow them to scale up. Now, SkySkopes depends on Skyward for airspace intelligence and entry, program administration, and trade perception.
“We use Skyward due to the accountability and situational consciousness that it affords us,” Matt mentioned. “It’s vital for us to verify we all know the place our crews are. If there’s a priority that must be flagged, I can see that it’s flagged in basically actual time.”
Past serving to SkySkopes handle all their flights, personnel, gear, airspace entry, and plane, Skyward has enabled SkySkopes to develop. Skyward permits managers to supervise operations at a excessive degree or dig into the main points. And as SkySkopes has expanded, Skyward has allowed SkySkopes to handle operations reliably.
“The platform-agnostic style of Skyward is extraordinarily useful,” Matt mentioned. “With the ability to simply attain into your pocket, to see what it is advisable see and schedule what it is advisable schedule together with your groups is an indispensable characteristic. There simply isn’t a option to scale with out one thing like Skyward.”
Lastly, SkySkopes depends on Skyward to remain in control with regulatory developments and keep a compliant drone program. Matt values Skyward’s involvement within the FAA’s regulatory course of.
“In an trade the place it’s tough to seek out trade requirements, Skyward is the trade customary,” Matt mentioned. “I’ve all confidence that Skyward goes to play a key half in past visible line of sight initiatives, and it may be executed with that rather more effectivity if Skyward is within the combine.”