Commercial and operations
About to enter its sixth year in June, Flylogix first landed at the centre at Lee-on the-Solent because of adjacent Solent Airport, where ground testing of unmanned aircraft takes place.
Of the 20 workshops at Fareham Innovation Centre, two are used by the company’s technical team for the manufacture, maintenance and storage of hardware.
Commercial, technical and operations teams now occupy a large open-plan workspace which facilitates high-communication as the company continues to grow every day.
Energy clients of Flylogix, which has 35 staff, include BP, Shell and Total Energies.
There are plans to fly parts to and from offshore wind farms, and the company operates throughout the North Sea in Morecambe Bay’s gas fields in north-west England, as well as in maritime monitoring operations in the English Channel.
Now the focus has moved into other territories with the company having recently opened an office in Norway.
History was made last year when Flylogix flew a medical kit from Land’s End to the Isles of Scilly – with a bottle of gin and bouquet of flowers as a thank-you on the return leg.
This was the first commercial airport-to-airport unmanned flight ever conducted.
Chris Adams, Flylogix’s Commercial Director, said: “We are increasing our footprint by an additional 158 sq m at Fareham Innovation Centre, which is now the nerve centre of operations for the company in the UK and globally.
“This is allowing us to merge the teams, all integral to the success of the company, so there is command, control, communication and information in one space.
“There is rapid growth in the business, evidenced by 25,000 kms of regulated unmanned flights over 24 months up to March.
“The centre’s flexible space has enabled us to upscale new operational requirements on premises without incurring unnecessary cost or the considerable disruption and expense caused by relocation.”
As part of Flylogix’s technology evolution, remote pilots from four dedicated flight teams will no longer be needed in areas where the planes routinely take off, such as Aberdeen, Shetland and Norfolk.
Instead, they will operate the aircraft from head office, further reducing carbon emissions from travel; technicians from the flight teams will continue to be based at the permanent locations for take-off, retrieval and maintenance.
Stephen Brownlie, Centre Director, Fareham Innovation Centre, said: “We’ve watched Flylogix spread its wings here and we are proud to accommodate this pioneering business which is now rapidly becoming a global operation.
£100 billion sector
“The innovation, technology, research & development which takes place here, from many other companies as well as Flylogix, is extraordinary.
“Fareham Innovation Centre is fast becoming the backdrop to where tomorrow’s world becomes today’s world.
“To quote Flylogix’s chief executive, Charles Tayner, unmanned aircraft will become a big component of the £100 billion global aviation logistics business. His company, here in Hampshire, is part of the world’s transport revolution.”
Chris added: “Stephen and his team have been incredibly supportive of Flylogix’s on-site growth since we first arrived in March 2018 – they have allowed us to focus on developing the business and access the right workspaces at the right times.”
Flylogix offers a fully integrated service for clients, removing the complexities of remote operations through risk assessment, regulatory requirements, permits, data gathering and processing, along with post-mission reporting.
Staff have a range of backgrounds, from Formula 1 motor racing and global communications to offshore engineering and search and rescue.
Investment in Fareham Innovation Centre
Fareham Innovation Centre has 55 serviced offices, 20 light manufacturing and engineering workshops and a range of conference facilities and meeting rooms.
The Innovation Centre expanded in 2018 and the Solent LEP provided £2m investment, alongside more than £5m from Fareham Borough Council and further investment from Oxford Innovation, to bring forward a £7.2m investment at the centre.
Supported by the Solent LEP, the second phase of development on the Solent Enterprise Zone will build on the “remarkable success” of the innovation centre to date, which was fully occupied within a year of completion.
The investment will expand the existing accommodation for innovative SMEs on the Fareham/Gosport peninsula and provide move-on space to enable businesses grown in the innovation centre to remain in the area, resulting in more jobs and opportunities for local people and the further creation of a significant cluster of businesses in the LEP’s strategic sectors.
The investment will provide 33 offices and 5 workshops in a new 3,400 sq m building tailored to the needs of businesses in the strategic engineering, marine and aerospace sectors and will be aimed particularly at businesses engaged in developing new and innovative technologies.
Construction on the development is underway.