UAS View of Lomond Offshore Installation
Stunning ‘drone’* footage of the BG Group Lomond installation in the Central North Sea has been uploaded to YouTube by Gary Hay. Alongside the platform, joined by a ‘bridge’, is the semi-submersible accommodation vessel Borgholm Dolphin, hence the helideck on Lomond is marked as closed due to the infringement of the 210° sector (see CAP437). The weather and the accommodation vessel indicate this was filmed during the TAR season – the annual summer maintenance Turnaround period.
The video shows the great potential for remote inspection using unmanned systems. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) guidance on UAS operation is CAP 722 (Unmanned Aircraft System Operations in UK Airspace – Guidance).
The operator of this UAS is not identified in the video, however BG Group has used Sky-Futures previously.
Other companies in the offshore inspection sector include Cyber-Hawk, who have just completed their 10,000th commercial flight.
We recently discussed a less welcome use of an unmanned system in the US: Firefighters Turn Hose on Drone
* In an alphabet soup of acronyms Drones are more correctly referred to as Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) or Remotely Piloted Air Systems (RPAS).