Martek Marine (Martek) has made the official appointment of aviation expert Paul Forster as Head of UAV Operations. Paul brings over 30 years’ aviation experience to Martek, in both high-profile operational and leadership roles.
The drone industry is booming and Martek are the driving force behind the most disruptive and talked about Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology that’s taking the market by storm. The appointment of Paul fulfils a crucial element of Martek’s strategy, which will help to cement them as world leaders in Unmanned Aerial Services (UAS).
Paul started his astonishing career as a flight instructor and professional pilot, quickly progressing to senior management where he became Joint CEO of Europe’s largest flight training organisation, Cabair. At Cabair, Paul was responsible for 9 flying schools throughout the UK, in addition to managing the company’s commercial helicopter division, which operated a fleet of single and twin engine helicopters along with a ‘Flying Eye’ aircraft for Capital Radio.
During his time at Cabair, Paul played a pivotal role in the launch of the first full-time independent air ambulance operation, quickly winning contracts for high-profile events, including; the British Touring Car Championship; the Superbike World and British Championships; the World Rally Championship and the Farnborough International Air Show. Paul and his team carried out urgent life-saving organ flights on a 24/7 basis, as well as providing emergency helicopter services for the Bahrain, as well as the Silverstone Formula One Grand Prix, where Paul’s busy helicopter operations flew over 1500 people on race days! Transporting film stars, royalty and government officials were all part of the day-to-day operations. The team even provided helicopters for the James Bond film series!
Taking up a new position as Operations Director at Sloane Helicopters, Paul established the Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance from scratch, as well as managing the company’s flying school at Sywell in Northamptonshire and multiple Agusta 109 helicopters operating on the company’s Air Operator Certificates (AOCs).
Establishing an excellent relationship with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) early on in his career, this permitted him to introduce new and complex operations into the UK, Paul is a CAA Form 4 holder, which means that he is a certified Accountable Manager for both fixed-wing and rotary commercial operations. Establishing a number of AOCs himself, for fixed-wing & rotary worldwide commercial operations, Paul also provided aviation management services around the world, before moving into global aircraft sales.
With extensive knowledge and understanding of aviation regulations and complex operational procedures learnt through years of hands-on experience, Paul brings a safe and steady pair of hands to his role as Head of UAV Operations. His attention to detail and ‘safety-first’ attitude will ensure that Martek’s drone operations are carried out in a safe and professional manner.
“Having established an excellent SMS and quality system which is supported by the Centrik management platform, I am very confident that I can ensure the highest level of safety & operational excellence that will demonstrate Martek’s commitment to being THE world leader in Unmanned Aerial Services,” says Forster.
In January this year, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) issued the largest ever civilian maritime drone contact, valued at €67M. Under the contract awarded to Martek, drones will be used to assist with border control activities, search & rescue operations and monitoring of pollution, as well as the detection of illegal fishing and drug and people trafficking. Martek’s continued contractual success follows the company being awarded a previous €10M contract by EMSA for ship engine emission monitoring using drones in November 2016. Martek’s sister company COPTRZ provided consultancy on both contracts. For more information, visit martek-marine.com.