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Case Studies

Crowded Space Drones

Crowded Space Drones

Posted on January 15, 2021

An insight into the future of Filming and Security. Crowded Space Drones operate within a number of industries including Television, Public Safety and Events.

Crowded Space Drones are Inspire Business Park’s newest tenant and world leading Drones Filming company. Andrew McQuillan – the Director of CSD – was the former head of Security for Game of Thrones and previously worked on the set of Star Wars “dealing with illegal drones flying in from the Paparazzi”. From such experiences, Andrew realised the growth potential of Drone and started operating under Crowded Space Drones, est. 2015. 

CSD specialise in “flying places that people typically wouldn’t or couldn’t”, giving the company its name. The company has received the highest licence from the Civil Aviation Authority, allowing them to fly within 5 metres from anything in the UK, giving the company a competitive advantage as the typical allowance is 30-50 metres.

Crowded Space Drones operate within a number of industries including Television, Public Safety and Events. The company have worked alongside major sports events in the UK including Silverstone and Wimbledon, as well as providing Drone coverage to Downing Street and The Queen.

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However due to COVID-19, the company had to draw focus away from outdoor events; “Over 75% of our work came from outdoor crowded space sports events – no one ever thought that there would be a situation where you wouldn’t have busy high streets or have events going on – we banked on that being a core part of our business”. Andrew explained how they have had to adapt their business model where major sporting and music events are “the icing on the cake but not the core business”. 

Despite attention being drawn away from outdoor events, Andrew told us that Television-related work increased, with the company working alongside popular TV show I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here. 

Aside from the effects of the Pandemic, CSD have also fallen victim to Brexit. “85% of our work is outside of Northern Ireland – typically Great Britain – so in terms of transport and logistics, Brexit has really impacted us”. Andrew says that perception has distorted business operation, claiming that a few of their Great Britain customers perceive a Northern Ireland-based company as higher risk than those based in mainland UK. 

 Despite the limitations of the pandemic and the EU exit, Andrew is confident that Crowded Spaces Drones will continue to see growth in 2021. “Our goal for 2021 is to add approximately 40-50 full time roles to the company”, “Initially 5 of those jobs will be based here at Inspire, with hopefully 20 more by the end of 2021”. Andrew also tells us he projects a turnover of £2.5-3 million this year if we see the gradual return of sporting events and music festivals. He claims that Drone usage will be on the rise in 2021; “We are now about to see delivery via drones which has already started in the UK”. However, Andrew stated that it is imperative to ensure Drone usage is safe by liaising with The Home Office, Departments of Transport and the Aviation Industry, “I definitely think we are going to see a lot more drone use but they have to be 100% safe”. 

Crowded Space Drones have also recently welcomed a new Operations Director – Andrew Hamilton – who was the former head of Unmanned Aircraft Systems at the CAA.