Paul Cox


  • Team: Precision Air Space Limited
  • Role: Managing Director and Pilot


Your role/position. Managing Director and Pilot at Precision Air Space Limited.

How did you end up working in forestry. My first experience of the New Zealand forestry industry was on the ground, Breaking Out, for my now business partner in 2007. Our UAV company was born out of a desire to help make positive, environmental improvements.

What you love about our industry. New Zealand Forestry plays a huge financial role in the lives of every resident, a lifeblood of the economy. The complexity and the simplicity of the structure of Forestry. There exists a camaraderie within the industry and knowledge seems to be very well respected.

How do you use UAVs in your work/what interest do you have in UAVs. To simplify, we survey to produce maps which we use to create spray missions. The Multi-functionality of UAVs as a starting point. Accuracy of application. This technology allows us to reduce chemical usage nationally. The possibilities are endless, however we feel specific functionality will be key for the future within the industry.

Why do you want to be involved in TFF. On a personal level, relationships are key to any business success, change only happens through cooperation. Experience dictates that as an end user it is important to stay relevant. In a rapidly evolving environment, it can be difficult to react to change. We are a boots on the ground enterprise built on 35 years of experience within Forestry. To be in the vicinity of and to have any kind of input towards decision making processes can only be beneficial. Changes are happening, more are needed, and all ideas need exploration.

What would you like to do through TFF if you were elected onto the committee. I would like to see a greater understanding of where the UAV industry in New Zealand stands in relation to the Forestry industry. How far are we behind other countries?  Who is out there that sees Forestry as a viable option for their company. UAV spray operators seem to be a relatively secretive bunch. There are operators but they are not really industry specific. Survival is key for many UAV spray companies; this creates diversity of workload in varied environments. I would like to see Forestry taking advantage of the interest in the technology, helping to make experts in the field who are dedicated to seeing what we can achieve. As an example. Our company has to complete OCA’s on a yearly basis, also an Agricultural Rating is required as part of out CAA 102. The OCA is in no way, currently, relevant to how we operate in the field. The Ag Rating has been created for Helicopters and Planes, the instructors are not even qualified UAV pilots. There is knowledge out there and it needs to be centralised.

What do you think that TFF should be focused on. Radical changes to Timber extraction. Reducing land disturbance and sediment run off. Massively reduce the use of chemical and water in the treatment of the forest. Forestry needs to be cleaner on every level. The UAV industry can be instrumental in driving these changes.

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