Take a peak at the people who want to represent ARPAS-UK next

We’ve had some truly awesome nominations for the Committee, so first of all, I want to thank them for standing up for their Industry: you’re amazing and we can’t do this without you.

Angus Benson-Blair

Angus started in the drone industry in January 2013 and was one of the founders of ARPAS. Having started as the EU Legislation Representative he took over as Chairman from Phil Tarry. Angus was the first person to be awarded an exemption using the OSC process and played an integral part in shaping the legislation such that it was accessible to all drone operators. Angus works in the film and TV industry and has gone from being a new entrant to the industry, knowing nothing about cameras or cinematography to being MD of Flying Pictures, a company whose credits include 13x Bond films, The Harry Potter series, Start Wars, Missions Impossible and many more.  Angus is keen to get re-involve himself with ARPAS as he feels able to contribute again now that his business life is more settled. He is someone who likes to backup words with actions and is keen to help ARPAS continue to forge its position as THE voice for the industry and to also move it forward so that it grows its membership in a sustainable and enduring manner.


Jonathon Clarke

A self-confessed flying addict with a background in Aeronautical engineering, MEng and a PhD in Avionics and Control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles from Loughborough University.  During that time, I also managed unmanned flight operations at Loughborough Uni and racked up hundreds of hours operating UAV.  I moved to Warwick University to run a £5M project on the design and implementation of energy storage for renewables; 14 industrial partners and 4 universities.  I worked extensively on novel aerodynamics, battery characterisation and usage, and electric motors/intelligent drive controllers.  I have been back at Loughborough for the last 4 years where I am the senior research engineer managing the Intelligent Automation Centre.  I hold a joint patent for the assembly of rotatives with Rolls-Royce.  I am a multidisciplinary lead engineer with an entrepreneurial mindset and an eye for detail.

I have a board flying interest (UAVs and models of every sort, PPL(A), SPL, SLMG, etc) and have flown most aircraft types to a good level (aerobatics rating etc).  I currently relax by flying my paraglider/paramotor whenever time allows.

Carys Kaiser

Carys comes from a production background, having done everything from sound recording, working as a camera assistant and camera operator, to self-shooting PD (producer director). She has worked on science and historical films and on TV productions in the UK for over 16 years. As a camera operator her work includes news, sport and documentaries.

Carys loves cameras and tech and wants to get the best out of the equipment that she uses, to be creative. She has been flying drones professionally for 4 years and writes a blog all about drones, and tries to encourage more and more people to fly safely. Has recently appeared on a lot of press platforms including Good Morning Britain,  BBC News Channel, and BBC 5Live.


Aleks Kowalski

I’ve been indirectly involved with ARPAS for a number of years.  When I was in the BALPA RPAS Working Group I first encountered Phil Tarry and was impressed with his Chairmanship and thereafter have looked to work with those at Committee levels to bring a greater interaction between the trade bodies and ARPAS.  I’ve helped contribute directly when a part of the Legislation and Regulation Working Group under Rupert Dent and previously worked with Sue Wolfe on the Drone Industry Action Group to push standards.  I’d like the opportunity to follow that through.  Having seen the influence an effective trade association can have at government level, I see the longer-term strategic importance of ARPAS in bring together all UAS pilots, large and small, the ecosystems around them – whilst highlighting the value of education to make drones a career path – not just a part-time opportunity for the majority of those going through their PfCO.

I’ve been involved in aviation for over 13 years and currently operate the A320 in the manned world.  From a drone perspective I’ve engaged with the drone industry for over 4 years, and co-founded one of the earlier NQEs to market.  In large UAS I was part of an EU funded FP7 project (ACROSS) looking into autonomous flight.  I’m now however independent of any company or training organisation.  I still represent BALPA on Air Traffic Services which has allowed me to see some of the things coming our way where ARPAS needs to have a voice – such as the Future Airspace Strategy, CAP670, the upcoming EASA legislation that will change the UK regulatory landscape, regardless of the Brexit approach.  The Standard Scenarios are moving at a crawl due to their complexity – all whilst members are working out their own business plans and finding it hard to make it a profitable going with the slow pace of enabling BVLOS and Autonomy.  I’ve an MA from Cambridge in Engineering and am a workaholic.

In short, I bring a slightly different perspective to the team, but one that could represent ARPAS-UK very effectively.

Michael May

Michael is an owner and director of FlyThru Limited.  He has over 12 years’ experience in aviation and holds helicopter and fixed wing licenses as well as a number of unmanned drone qualifications. His primary responsibilities within the business are flight planning and client liaison having responsibility for the Civil Aviation Authority permission for commercial operations and the various challenges holding professional flying qualifications bring.
Michael has planned and flown operations throughout Europe and has provided service to many varied professional clients including police forces, surveyors, forensic archaeologists, utility companies, highways agencies and rail networks. The work is extremely varied and has involved the accurate mapping of disaster scenes, assessing power supply infrastructure and monitoring of dangerous and inaccessible areas and even the locating of clandestine burials.
Michael has previous police experience having been an officer with North Yorkshire Police from 1984 – 2000 leaving to develop a business in the drug-testing sector. Having successfully sold the business in 2007 he became the commercial director of the acquiring business and left to establish FlyThru in 2013.

Since 2015 the FlyThru team has gained security clearances to NPPV L3 and SC levels. Michael has been trained in basic forensic examination and FlyThru have jointly developed a service that not only includes data collection using drones for a number of applications but also a forensic examination of drones found in suspicious circumstances looking to gain vital intelligence about it’s origin and purpose.
FlyThru are currently one of the few UAV companies operating LiDAR in the UK.

Jim Morris

Jim is the Operations Director at Drone Surveying Limited, supplying specialist survey services to the construction industry. Working across the Country for many construction companies, providing accurate survey grade data and saving them money in management of earth on site. His passion for accuracy and promoting Drone Surveying combined with traditional surveying methods is what drives him to change the way that the industry thinks about Drones and the future of surveying.

With years of experience in Housing as a Communications and IT specialist, Jim has a passion for Innovation and sharing his knowledge with others. He also describes himself as a “Geek with a personality”.

As a qualified UAV operator since 2014, he trained a team of Pilots at one of the largest Housing Associations in the Midlands, helping them become the first in the UK to have CAA approval to inspect their buildings saving them thousands of pounds each year.

Geoff Pugh

Geoff has a background in military air traffic control with extensive experience in terminal, maritime Carrier Strike and Area Radar as well as operational deployments overseas including Afghanistan. A qualified Air Traffic Control Instructor, Geoff also worked on secondment at the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority for 2 years as part of a small team of military specialists augmenting the Airspace Regulation division where he had responsibility for UAS airspace usage, segregated airspace and airspace utilisation.

A member of the Royal Aeronautical Society and graduate of the prestigious Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, Geoff has a Bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Manchester and has been involved in all aspects of Air Traffic Management, training and safety management for over 17 years. He passionately believes the future of aviation and airspace usage will centre around the safe integration of both remotely piloted and autonomous aircraft with their manned equivalents.

Geoff hails from the Isle of Man and lives in Hampshire with his wife Emma and 2 children. In his spare time, he indulges his passions for walking and cycling whilst endlessly reconfiguring his house to connect more to the internet and become energy independent.

Toby Townrow

Toby is the Communications Director of Drone Evolution, a Commercial Drones Products and Services company based in Caerphilly, South Wales. Their vision is “Making people safe and organisations better”. Toby’s background (as a self-employed HR consultant and also stints with Unilever, ntl: and Dixons Stores Group) has given him an insight into the vocational education framework and the company are keen to be at the forefront of developing the skills of those employed to fly drones for a living – especially as more and more organisations develop their in-house drone flying teams.