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Drones firm is flying high after move to new headquarters

Crowded Space Drones, which uses its advanced drone technology to help with counter-terrorism and public safety at high profile venues and events, has moved to Silverstone Park.

The business has undertaken a full fit-out of 2,350 sq ft of industrial accommodation.

This will include a broadcasting centre and conference and training rooms for seven full-time staff, plus a workshop to maintain its drones – some costing more than £20,000 each.

Managing director is Andrew McQuillan who was previously head of security for the hit fantasy TV drama Game of Thrones and also in charge of the Drone Racing League.

He said: “We get a pure fibre connection from the Innovation Centre – incredibly fast speeds which is one of the things we require. Silverstone Park offered us really good options on unit size but also the location means the travel radius from here is phenomenal. For example, we might need to be in Portsmouth to film for Virgin Cruises and it is still only two hours away.”

The business, linked up to Crowded Space’s head office in Belfast, is Civil Aviation Authority-accredited – all its pilots are CAA-trained. “We are probably the only business who can do what we do,” said Mr McQuillan.

“Essentially, we are a very specialist drone services company which the CAA will give special permissions to. After the Gatwick drone incident in 2018, we responded to counter-terrorism police and covered all other UK airports for them.

“Soon after that incident, we prevented someone trying to fly a drone down a runway at another major airport and also potentially into the path of a large passenger jet on its final approach.

“A lot of that work is when we bring our range of detection systems into play. They can detect any drone from around 40 kilometres away. We undertake similar counter-terrorism measures for governments in the USA and Ireland but it is mainly UK.

The company also works in other areas such as the Wimbledon tennis tournament for the full three weeks. “Even I’m a Celebrity, where we use infra-red drones through the forests to detect people trying to access the set illegally,” Mr McQuillan said.