Last year, Argus International announced the acquisition of the Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) to officially enter into the world of UAVs. Why is that important for our industry? Founded in 1995, Argus International, Inc. is the worldwide leader in specialized aviation services allowing organizations around the globe to improve their operational safety.
For the first time, ARGUS is attending the Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas and raising awareness about an aspect of flying unmanned vehicles that, so far, has been grossly overlooked: safety standards and methodologies.
Most aviation commercial operators throughout the world are mandated by the International Air Transportation Association or IATA to implement a Safety Management System (SMS) and Argus is the world leader in assisting companies to implement and periodically audit these implementations.
Argus is now offering the same services and quality standards to the unmanned community through their Argus Unmanned program, although sorting through safety concerns in the midst of a commercial drone revolution is something USI has been looking at for awhile now.
We sat down with Joseph (Joe) Moeggenberg, CEO of Argus and Aaron L. Greenwald, President of USI to find out more about their over a year old partnership.
Juan: Joe, what motivated you and your organization to get into the UAV space?
Joe: We have over 800 customers around the world and some of them, which are involved in areas such as aerial inspections, construction and agriculture approached us with questions about the feasibility of acquiring drone capabilities and adding them to their workflow. We began searching for a good source of information about safety issues in the unmanned world and found USI already engaged in the education of users about safety protocols, and the rest is history.
Juan: Aaron, from the point of view of USI, what does the association with Argus brings to your portfolio.
Aaron: We founded USI in 2014 inspired by the amazing safety record of the manned aviation industry. We wanted to bring those same standards of excellence to the young UAV industry and that’s why we have focused on raising awareness on the safety practices of all those new commercial operators that are taking to the sky.
Joe: We found USI business practices to be very similar to our own and it was only logical that we joined forces to bring to the UAV public the same level of safety and reliability that our manned customers enjoy today.
Juan: Do you guys think that applying the same standards to both industries will help the potential integration of manned and unmanned aircraft in controlled airspace?
Joe: Well, let’s put it this way, the FAA is very strict about SMS implementation and enforcement, so having UAVs following the same safety principles can only help accelerate the integration.
Aaron: We need to bring commercial UAV operators to adopt SMS standards to guarantee that both manned and unmanned aircraft can operate safely in shared airspace and both can complete their missions in a secure way.