Sky-Futures, a U.K.-based provider of unmanned aerial system (UAS) industrial inspection services in the oil and gas sector, has been granted U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) National Qualified Entity (NQE) status.
The NQE approval is only the third of its type granted in the U.K., says Sky-Futures.
It allows the company to perform the following training and approval functions:
- Train and certify Sky-Futures Remote Pilots (S-FRP) for visual line of sight operations, regardless of previous experience, to a U.K. CAA-recognized standard; and
- Make recommendations to the CAA for prospective U.K. operators wishing to gain permission status to fly UAS visual line of sight for commercial purposes.
The Sky-Futures training team must ensure that any external operator has the following credentials before permission status can be recommended to the CAA:
- A fit for purpose operations manual;
- A UAS appropriate to the operator’s intended commercial activity with applicable safety features; and
- Proposed remote pilots have satisfactorily completed, to the required standard, the Sky-Futures ground school and flight training syllabus on their designated UAS.
Sky-Futures, which has over 26 clients globally, works in over 10 countries across 5 regions of the world. The company says it has over 8,500 hours’ worth of flying experience, providing live flare, structural and under-deck inspections onshore and offshore for oil and gas clients. It is also a member of the Small UAV Coalition.