Commercial drone service, insurer tout new flight manager system

By Luke Geiver | September 10, 2015

Hawk Aerial, a commercial drone service and repair provider, has looked Skyward for its flight planning and recording needs. Portland-based information management platform provider Skyward, will be providing Hawk Aerial with its recently released information management system desgined for commercial drone operators. The cloud-based system integrates drone airspace maps with flight planning tools along with a digital record in conjunction with a team of regulatory and operational experts, according to Skyward.

“Regulators and insurers across the world need to know the who, what, when, where and how for flight operations,” the company said. More than 150 operators are already using Skywards system in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Australia and South Africa. Skyward is also a partner in NASA’s unmanned traffic management program.

Terry Miller, president of Transport Risk Management, explained why his firm is also using Skyward. “As the leading provider of UAS insurance in the U.S., we’ve recognized the overwhelming need for a complete flight management system. Skyward developed the solution we’ve been searching for, and we will be incorporating it into our insurance underwriting process,” he said.

In addition to helping it fly within the FAA’s regulatory scheme, Hawk Aerial CEO Kevin Gould also said that Skyward’s system provides “critical operating data to track performance and profitably run our business.”

Jonathan Evans, CEO and founder of Skywards, said that existing maps and apps built for hobbyists don’t meet the requirements of a professional operation.

The systems map shows operators where they can or can’t fly; configures flight planning and logging; manages personnel, drones and equipment; provides online storage of data needed for insurance and documentation; and gives regulatory and operational expertise for approvals and compliance questions.

The system is available to commercial drone users under a six-week free trial.