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Helicopter services company Bristow Group is branching out to unmanned aerial vehicles, announcing a $4.2 million investment in UK-based Sky-Futures, a provider of drone inspection data services for the oil and gas industry. The investment gives Bristow access to Sky-Futures UAV or drone inspection operational expertise, data capturing and analysis and training capabilities.
“In this new market reality where continued cost pressures compel companies to find new solutions, our investment in Sky-Futures puts Bristow at the forefront of offering innovations that help our mutual clients achieve further efficiencies in their operations,” Bristow CEO Jonathan Baliff said. “Through our partnership, we will collaborate with Sky-Futures and its leading safety culture, operational integration and analysis technology to capitalize beyond the growing need for global UAV inspection services in oil and gas to other industries, including search and rescue.”
Last month, Sky-Futures conducted the first legal inspection by drone of a drill ship in the Gulf of Mexico. The company holds an FAA Section 333 exemption to operate drones in the U.S. The drone inspection took two days versus the 17 days required by conventional methods.