COLIN-SMITHUNMANNED aerial systems (UAS) company Ninox Robotics has appointed former Australian Army major Colin Smith as chief pilot to lead its team of drone controllers for customised commercial and government use.

A career solider with 37 years’ experience in the Army, Major Smith specialised in surveillance, target acquisition and UAS.

As a qualified ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operator, Major Smith advised Combat Brigades and Battle Groups on its use and was instrumental in introducing the Australian training system for the SHADOW 200 UAS, a 1 Subject to final regulatory approvals tactical device capable of providing detailed intelligence about enemy activity to ground troops.

During his time in the army, Major Smith served in a number of countries and theatres of war – including Iraq, Belize, Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Germany and the United Kingdom.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to be part of an organisation that will put military-grade technology to work for businesses and landholders across the country,” he said.

“The data collected by the UAS will enable more informed decisions, pre-emptive issue management and improved response, security and safety.”

Ninox Robotics managing director Marcus Ehrlich said Major Smith’s experience in working with UAS for surveillance and monitoring purposes made him the ideal candidate for the position.

“We need highly-trained professionals in command in order to ensure we can deliver information that is most valuable to our customers in a safe, reliable way.”

The appointment came as the company purchased its first set of drones, which it said was a part of its plan to be in the air in the first half of 2016.

“Following our trial last year, we have received a lot of interest from a variety of industries and multiple departments across all levels of government. We are already taking orders for our services and plan on being in the air very soon,” Mr Ehrlich said.