Planning and engineering consultancy, Michael Baker International (MBI), has been awarded a contract with the Commonwealth of Virginia to provide Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or drone services to all 50 states across the country.
MBI will provide UAS services to state agencies, institutions of higher education, and other public bodies and entities in all 50 states across the USA through the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) ValuePoint Cooperative Purchasing Organization. The award is a first-of-its-kind and Michael Baker’s Autonomous Aviation Alliance (AAA) team is leading the effort by managing a network of 90 subconsultants with 250 offices across the country, providing access to more than 50,000 drone pilots and airframes.
The Virginia award can be utilized for emergency services, law enforcement support, aerial inspection or mapping data services, agricultural, gaming, and agency media relations and marketing. The Commonwealth anticipates that the primary users will be the Departments of Aviation, Emergency Management, Transportation, Forestry, Mines, Minerals and Energy and all public universities and community colleges. The award allows for a simple contract mechanism and fair pricing, streamlining service acquisition and eliminating the need for a selection process for each individual mission.
MBI’s AAA team is uniquely positioned to rapidly mobilize and provide solutions to meet clients’ needs. Collectively, the AAA team has extensive experience that includes tens of thousands of missions for emergency response, law enforcement, aerial inspection and mapping, agricultural, gaming, and agency media relations and marketing, among others. The partners that form the alliance are all seasoned industry veterans that are working and living in the communities the network serves. The alliance’s coverage extends from coast-to-coast, as well as Alaska and Hawaii. Because of this unprecedented access, an emergency response time of less than four hours to less than 72 hours can be achieved in most of the country.
“UAS technology has several advantages over traditional methods, it allows for highly-efficient data capture, can improve safety when compared to conventional techniques, and is flexible and scalable for adaptation to most data-gathering situations,” explained Alicia McConnell, UAS program manager at MBI. “By building this extensive alliance of Michael Baker pilots and partner companies, we are able to efficiently support the large volume of work that this contract calls for. Our experience has been proven with every mission we’ve flown, and we are constantly innovating to apply technology in a way that is useful to others in our profession, our clients and our partners.”