2018 has started with lots of training and busy with work
January has proven to be a very busy month here at Advantage Geomatics, both for work and training.
Firstly we have attended and completed the UAV operator Ground School training and passed the required exam at Wolverhampton Business Centre. This is the first step towards getting our Permission For Commercial Operations (PfCO) approval from the CAA to operate commercially as UAV service providers. In the meantime we have successfully conducted our first UAV based survey for a client utilising our partner PfCO, Flyover Filming (www.flyoverfilming.co.uk). The client was very pleased with the results and the potential for applying the use of Drones to other suitable sites.
Our training is being provided by Rusta (www.uastraining.com), a CAA approved NQE who have been very supportive so far in the training process and who are currently reviewing the first draft of our Operations Manual. Once that is approved then it is time for the flight evaluation and then all being well the rubber stamp from the CAA and then the sky’s the limit (well up to a maximum altitude of 400 feet anyway!)
Also it has been necessary to upgrade our hardware capabilities and so we have invested in a very tidy Topcon DS-103 total station. Kris at Sealand Surveys (www.sealandsurvey.co.uk) was really helpful and has been on the end of the phone when a technical issue has had me scratching my head on site.
Our CSCS accreditation needed updating after the recent re-classification of the cards. We needed to do the Management and Professional test. After a week of frantic revision and practise the screen test was taken and passed. There is always the feeling of trepidation as you approach the computer to take the test, thankfully it was passed first and there were only a couple of surprise questions.
Once all of the admin had been taken care of we made a return to Aberdeen assisting the beach crew from VBMS with the installation of two cables where we have been for nearly three weeks. On jobs like this we are at the mercy of the weather and site conditions. A weather window of 36 hours is required which as you can imagine in January on the North Sea coast is not that regular. The VBMS crew made light work of the cable being floated in from the vessel but the off shore cable burial is causing some issues, the decisions on which to rectify the problem are still being made.
If the rest of the year carries on like this then it will fly past!