Oct 07, 2019Small Business

Northern Territory Drone Business Takes Flight

Ten years ago it might have been tough to imagine a job as drone operator. Now there are whole companies dedicated to providing commercial drone services.

Darwin-based small business, Skymax, is working with natural gas company, INPEX, to boost safety and efficiency at their onshore facilities for Ichthys. The drones are being used to assist with equipment inspections and maintenance planning.

In an interview with the NT News, INPEX Maintenance Manager Mark Wilson said the technology minimised the need for people to work at often dangerous heights on maintenance inspections. Mark told the NT News, “the drone technology is changing the way we work and it’s great to collaborate with a Darwin business on this innovative initiative,”.

Skymax Director and Chief Pilot Max Lye said the contract was supporting the growth of his business.

“The contact has granted us the opportunity to focus on expanding our workforce by upskilling Territorians to carry out a range of industrial scopes with INPEX in Darwin,” Max said.

“We are always working hard to keep up with the advancement of technology as it continues to evolve so that we can continue to grow and have a marked competitive edge over companies that are not locally based.”

Skymax currently employs six local drone operators who are licensed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) of Australia.