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Komatsu personnel recently undertook remote pilot licence training. From left: Ken Suzuki, Scott Jamieson, Ramesh Muruganandan, Aaron Marsh, Ralph Goad and Bart Genson.
Komatsu personnel recently undertook remote pilot licence training. From left: Ken Suzuki, Scott Jamieson, Ramesh Muruganandan, Aaron Marsh, Ralph Goad and Bart Genson.

Earthmoving supplier takes an aerial view of site surveying

Six Komatsu Australia in-house pilots recently received their “wings” as certified drone operators, allowing them to provide aerial site surveying services over ground-based alternatives.

The remote pilot certifications were obtained via New South Wales-based specialist training company Aviassist.

Komatsu national technology solution expert manager Aaron Marsh says obtaining remote pilot licences is crucial because it dovetails into Komatsu’s SmartConstruction integrated business model.

“The main advantage of aerial surveying is that it is fast and accurate and creates efficiencies in subsequent construction stages such as earthmoving,” Marsh said.

“For example, the 3D drone data can be fed into our Komconnect application to automatically calculate the area and volume of earth to be moved, and our customers can access it in real time.



"The main advantage of aerial surveying is that it is fast and accurate and creates efficiencies in subsequent construction stages such as earthmoving,"
Aaron Marsh, Komatsu National Technology Solution Expert Manager

“Likewise, our iMC machines on the ground can update the as-built ground conditions as they go, for accurate cut and fill volume reporting. The drone data can also be used for stockpile calculations and ongoing review of construction progress and site logistics.

“All round, it’s a more streamlined and economical process. What took days and weeks can now be completed with negligible manual effort.”

With the help of Aviassist’s professional training team, all six pilots successfully completed a week-long intensive unmanned aerial vehicle course, certified by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

On course completion, Komatsu applied to CASA for a commercial operator’s licence. During this time Aviassist allowed Komatsu to work under its operators’ licence until it received accreditation.

“Aviassist has been great with ongoing advice for our company and our chief pilot if we need any guidance or assistance,” Marsh said. “Now we are fully qualified and ready to fly directly for our customers entirely as Komatsu, under our own business model, which includes our own insurances.”

Aviassist managing director Ross Anderson said he was impressed with Komatsu’s in-depth embrace of drone technology for its business offerings.

“It’s great working alongside industry leaders such as Komatsu integrating drone technology into their day to day business,” he said.

Anderson says while Komatsu pilots can operate the drones on behalf of their customers, there are opportunities for customers to appoint their own pilots or fly them themselves.

“Now we can handle everything,” Anderson said. “We can fly the drones, collect data, and use that data, or we can hand data over to the customer. We’re conducting flights and demonstrations for customers right now.”

Source: Komatsu Australia











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Monday, 16 September, 2019 8:29am
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