Top UK drone lead to become director at NI firm CSD

  • Photo: Andrew Hamilton has been announced as director of operations for CSD

    Andrew Hamilton, lead of the Civil Aviation Authority Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is to become director of operations at NI drone company Crowded Space Drones (CSD).

    He joins the team as part of the firm’s ongoing growth plan, which includes capital investment and the creation of approximately 20 new jobs for pilots, flight crew and other support roles involved in surveying and inspection over the next year.

    Andrew has been involved with drones for nearly 10 years and whilst an inspector with Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, founded the first ever 24-hour UK Police Drone Unit which now has over 70 police officers trained as pilots.

    Following this, Andrew joined the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), transforming their systems and processes to the benefit of the wider drone industry.

    RELATED: NI drone business helping UK respond to COVID-19

    Andrew has overseen the approval of drone delivery programs, such as the delivery of medical equipment to the Isle of Wight to assist with the Coronavirus response.

    He also assisted in the roll out of Drone & Model Aircraft Registration and Education Scheme (DMARES) and significant improvements to the process of applying and renewing commercial drone permissions.

    Crowded Space Drones is a specialist services company founded in 2015, that holds a unique special permission from the CAA to safely fly as close as five metres from uncontrolled persons.

    Working in specialist areas such as inspections, major events, counter terrorism, television filming and surveying, its clients include Walmart, Live Nation, Metropolitan Police, Wimbledon, BBC, Arsenal FC, CBS News and Formula 1 British Grand Prix.

    RELATED: New emergency response drone can help with COVID-19 related situations

    The company also had a role in the UK response to the Gatwick and Heathrow drone attacks, remaining onsite for nearly five months.

    Invest NI is providing support to the company to help develop its export sales outside of Northern Ireland in Europe and the US.

    Andrew Hamilton commented: “Given the wide range of public and private sector contracts held by the company and my previous visits to Northern Ireland, it made joining Crowded Space Drones an easy decision. I look forward to helping grow the company and creating new positive uses for drones which will benefit society as a whole.”

    Andrew McQuillan, director of Crowded Space Drones added: “... there is simply no one in the United Kingdom who has more knowledge, experience and know how in all aspects of the drone industry. This will be a massive benefit to our clients and also help us ensure we are the safest drone operator.”

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    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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