Costain is boosting its use of unmanned aerial vehicles to make sites safer and more efficient.

Drones have been used on several contracts and Costain is now looking to appoint a framework of specialist operators to boost their use.

Typical work for a drone includes inspection of existing structures – particularly in hard-to-reach or hazardous locations and surveying large areas.

Peter Slater, Aerial Solutions Manager at Costain said: ‘One of the main drivers of the work comes down to taking people out of hazardous environments.

‘In addition, improvements in speed, efficiency and payload make this a technology with high potential.’

Costain is looking to bring in drone experts rather than train its staff to fly them.

Slater said: ‘We have working relationships with a number of suppliers and will create a framework agreement with sector-specific suppliers that can cover a range of requirements.

‘The technologies involved can become obsolete quite quickly. On top of that, the regulatory environment governing their operation will continue to undergo some notable changes.’