Oil & Gas UK Publishes Offshore Drone Guidelines

Oil & Gas UK has published a new set of guidelines to help guide the growing use offshore of drones, or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

The UAS Operations Management Standards and Guidelines were developed by a work group set up by the trade body, involving industry and aviation safety experts, as well as UAS operators.

“A small but increasing number of oil and gas operators are using UAS for inspections predominantly, but also for aerial photography, surveying and security,” Mick Borwell, health, safety and environment director with Oil & Gas UK, said.

“The technology is particularly attractive for its use in improving safety. For example, sending unmanned aircraft instead of people into confined spaces to conduct inspections reduces risk, and is also effective and efficient. We expect their usage to grow,” he added.

The guidelines have evolved from lessons learned in recent years and provide information about best practice, procedures and the certification needed to be compliant with UAS regulations, Borwell said.  

“They are an important piece of work addressing the application of a new technology to the offshore environment which will help to ensure operations on the North Sea remain as safe as they can be,” he added.



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