BVLOS Drone Flights Improve Operational Economics
The number one issue holding back the drone industry is the inability, in general to fly beyond visual line of sight – BVLOS. The following is an excerpt from The Economics of BVLOS, a whitepaper—written in partnership with Skylogic Research—that compares traditional inspection methods with VLOS and BVLOS drone operations on the basis of cost, safety, data quality, and time-to-value.
Traditional methods of inspecting well pads involve a team of well tenders, engineers, and environmental experts that drive between well pads or walk pipelines. The team will photograph, document notes on a clipboard or mobile device, and inspect 15 different checkpoint items at each well pad.
The checklist includes inspecting gauges, valve settings, and the temperature of critical pieces of equipment, as well as methane detection, vegetative encroachment, and tank gauging—a manual measure of each tank’s volume.
By Federal regulation, well pads must be inspected at least annually. Local and state regulations may require additional inspections throughout the year. Yet the time and personnel applied to these inspections deliver much more value if the well tender can also perform maintenance—and fix any issues—during the inspection. Maintaining well pads keeps them operational—and saves the company from losing money due to inoperable well pads.
If a well tender can be made just 30% more efficient by performing high value maintenance along with their inspection—netting more well pad uptime—the company gains a whole lot more than just regulatory compliance. They protect their investment and infrastructure—and their revenue.
The FAA has to do more to support BVLOS operations. Download the whitepaper to learn when, and when not, to fly BVLOS.
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