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National Drone Manager

Please Note: The application deadline for this job has now passed.

Job Introduction

About Asset Information Services

Our AIS teams provide reliable and sustainable products and services to Network Rail and industry customers. They provide insight and intelligence that is used to keep passenger and freight services moving. Using cutting-edge, world leading technology, such as lasers, ultrasonics, and high-resolution imagery; the team check the tracks’ structure, position and condition, they also monitor the high voltage wires and rails that supplies power to the trains. With this and the use of geo-analytical intelligence, we can plan maintenance and renewal works from the safety of our offices and depots, reducing risk to our colleagues and disruption to our services.

We are committed to a diverse workplace enriched with representation from diverse cultures, backgrounds and skills. We pride ourselves on creating an environment where difference is embraced, and individuals can thrive. We recognise that the success of the team is dependent on a multi-cultural, multi-disciplined group of individuals, aligned to deliver successful solutions.

At Network Rail, we have a number of employee networks to reflect our diverse population and help to raise issues to the wider workforce and support their membership and support our Everybody Matters strategy, led by our central Diversity & Inclusion team. In AIS specifically, we have a group of Diversity & Inclusion Champions who take part and lead on many activities, to drive through more initiatives to support an inclusive environment for all its people and promote a professional and positive working environment. For more information on Diversity & Inclusion at Network Rail, please follow this link


Main Responsibility

As National Drone Manager, you’ll be the accountable manager for all internal drone operations within Network Rail, including the implementation and maintenance of rules, guidance and associated governance activities.


What will you be doing?

  • Defining and maintaining all internal documentation relating to the operation of drones, regularly updating relevant Network Rail standard(s), supporting policies and our Operations Manual to enable the business to meet its safety and legal obligations.
  • Establishing and executing a robust governance and assurance programme for all in-house drone activities to include, record keeping, pilot assessments, currency and battery management to confirm pilots are operating legally and to mitigate against the risk of incidents occurring on the network.
  • Implementing new or changes to existing legislation or Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB/ Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recommendations affecting drone operations to enable Network Rail to meet its legal obligations.
  • Leading the daily drone activity schedule for the organisation, and effectively managing the ‘Drone Framework’ to drive value for money, maintain supplier performance and high customer satisfaction levels.
  • Managing the flight management system/UTM, monitoring performance against the contract and escalating service issues as they arise to enable drone operators to operate safely.
  • Managing all aspects of in-house drone pilot training to include but not be limited to; selection process, appointment of training provider(s) and annual re-assessment of pilot competence levels that enables Air Operations to meet the needs of the business in relation to the provision of aerial surveys in a safe and legal manner.
  • Assisting the Head of Air Operations in relation to the investigation of any incidents or accidents involving drones, liaising with appropriate government agencies and preparing reports/briefings as required to help the organisation to learn, improve procedures and prevent repetition.
  • Providing high quality evidence-based advice concerning industry use of drones/Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) to the Head of Air Operations and other senior stakeholders that helps to drive future business decisions and strategies for aerial surveys and inspection of track assets.
  • Regularly monitoring and researching the development of new technology within the drone/SUA commercial sector, especially concerning the development of survey equipment and associated data processing techniques, seeking out opportunities for progression within Network Rail, for example, ‘Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights’.
  • Participating in drone projects from conception to close, travelling to relevant sites to support contractors and Network Rail drone operators e.g. sharing knowledge and expertise to help inform flight risk assessments to mitigate against the risk of serious incidents occurring.

The Ideal Candidate

  • Expert knowledge of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulations, especially around the operation of drones/Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) and thorough understanding of policy development processes and techniques
  • Excellent understanding of the technological landscape concerning the development of drones/SUAs, camera sensors and data processing techniques, combined with practical experience of embedding these into business as usual
  • Relevant experience of working within a drone and/or aviation environment with the ability to design and deliver 1-2-1 and group training sessions
  • Experience of operating drones/SUA in the commercial sector and holder of General Visual Line of Sight Certification (GVC)
  • Proven stakeholder and contract management experience



What could set you apart


  • Knowledge of aerial survey/operations/equipment
  • Knowledge of data processing
  • High customer service level
  • Team player comfortable working within in a fast-moving business
  • Degree or equivalent

Package Description

Role Title: National Drone Manager

Salary range: 3C £51,156 - £57,551

Contract Type: Permanent

Location: The Quadrant, Elder Gate, Milton Keynes, MK9 1EN

You must live within 90 Minutes of The Quadrant,

At Network rail you will have a clear development path, access to training and enjoy a range of employee benefits, such as; up to 28 days annual leave, rail subsidies, a range of pension options, flexible and agile working arrangements, discounts on shopping, gym memberships and much more.

Closing date: 11/08/2022

Click ‘apply for this job’ to apply. If you would like to speak the Resourcing Team please contact: Hamidur.Rahman@networkrail.co.uk.

About the Company

Embed the Route Services approach veo using the video icon in text box - (We Matter To Millions - YouTube) 


We’re an organisation where people matter. We matter to millions. 


Our role is to run a safe, reliable and efficient railway, serving customers and communities. We exist to get people and goods where they need to be and to support our country’s economic prosperity. Safety is our number one priority.  

We're undertaking an ambitious change. Our vision is Putting Passengers First - becoming a company that is on the side of passengers and freight users. 

As one of the UK’s leading equal opportunities employers, our values and the way we behave is important to us and we have created an environment where we value and respect every individual's unique contribution. We have seven employee networks that provide fantastic support, opportunities and development for applicants from all backgrounds. Click here for more information 

Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd

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