New aerial im­agery busi­ness


A PILOT’s li­cence and a drone was all it took for Tom Wat­son to launch new Cairns start-up SkyS­tock.

The on­line por­tal can of­fer cus­tomers more than 1500 aerial im­ages of Far North Queens­land to as­sist in town plan­ning, land and prop­erty sales and gov­ern­ment re­search.

Where aerial im­agery for a spe­cific lo­ca­tion is un­avail­able, Mr Wat­son of­fers ser­vices to con­nect cus­tomers to pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phers who op­er­ate drones, air­craft and he­li­copters to as­sist in ac­quir­ing the re­quired shot.

“The data­base pro­vides cus­tomers with ef­fi­cient, qual­ity and cost-ef­fec­tive ac­cess to aerial im­agery in one con­ve­nient and cen­tral lo­ca­tion,” he said.

“I saw a gap in the mar­ket that wasn’t be­ing filled and thought this would be ad­van­ta­geous to busi­ness, es­pe­cially in a grow­ing city as that of Cairns where you only have to count the cranes in the sky to see that the city is mov­ing for­ward.

“With the ever-chang­ing Cairns cityscape, I can only imag­ine a need to re­plen­ish the aerial pho­to­graphs in the near fu­ture.”

He said he had re­cently worked with two de­vel­op­ers, as well as two gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, to pro­vide cur­rent im­agery of the city. Each of his client’s goals were to show­case po­ten­tial for in­vest­ment in the Cairns re­gion.

“By com­bin­ing four clients into a sin­gle he­li­copter shoot al­lowed SkyS­tock to keep costs min­i­mal for each client,” said Mr Wat­son.

Mr Wat­son has pre­vi­ously spo­ken out ad­vo­cat­ing the use of drones to elim­i­nate the safety risk of manned air­craft sur­veys.

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