The UK's Woodgate Aviation has won the contract to assist with mapping every square inch of Northern Ireland from the air. The contract, worth almost £1m, is for a five-year period and a specially-adapted Chieftain will perform the missions, operating from Woodgate's hangar at Belfast International airport.
The aircraft is fitted with hi-tech surveying colour and near-infrared digital camera equipment. The camera system produces 3D imagery which offers accurate mapping and property valuations for rating purposes. It also surveys agricultural land for farm subsidies. Woodgate has been providing air support and facilities for Land and Property Services (formerly Ordnance Survey Northern Ireland) for some 40 years.
“Land and Property Services is a long-established customer,” says MD David Shaw. “We are very familiar with its requirements and, because we have been doing the job for so long, it all works like clockwork. The on-board technology is operated by two Land and Property Services personnel who map what is on the ground. Accurate images then processed for a variety of purposes.
“An interesting facet of the work involves a GPS Repeater, a device that allows the crew to calibrate their equipment using the GPS signal inside the hangar without having to move the aircraft outside a number of times to complete the task.
“This contract win means that we can sustain jobs at the hangar well into the 2020s,” Shaw concludes.