About us2019-08-04T23:40:22+00:00




Unmanned aviation is the future of aviation. By 2035, there will be commercial flights across oceans with one or no pilots on board. Around 80% of all aviation accidents are human factors related, and the safest thing we can do is to automate airborne tasks and also those on the ground. Human limitations are beautifully .summarised in this line from Airplane! (Flying High), “We have clearance, Clarence. Roger, roger. What’s our Vector, Victor?”. See it here.



When we started Skybase, we started with the famous line from Jim Collins, “First Who, then What”. We have found and fostered the best of the aviation, defence and GIS industries to bring to life some very exciting ventures. We are all passionate people, who believe in the vision, and have the experience, skills and drive to make great things happen.

Key Team Members

Andy Dachs

A/CTO - Head of Space Integration

Andy has extensive knowledge and career experience working with small satellites, and over 13 years as a radio and network engineer and manager with Tait Radio. He developed a reputation for being the ‘go to’ person within the nearly 1000-strong team. Andy has 3 degrees- Bachelor then Masters of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, and an MBA. As a lifelong learner, he is already the go-to person for getting our technology into Spacecraft.

Michael Read

Michael Read

Michael loves building teams and building a vision. By observing and refining the formulas for start-up success over the last decade, combined with an aviation career spanning nearly 20 years in manned, unmanned and optionally piloted aviation, and across military, civilian and humanitarian operations, Michael is well placed to lead the establishment and growth of Skybase. Because Skybase does aviation, unmanned.
Scott McKenzie

Scott McKenzie

Head of Tactical
There are very few aviators in New Zealand as accomplished as Scott. As one of the youngest ever commanding officers of 3 Squadron in the RNZAF, Scott has gone on to become a highly successful consultant to civilian, military and agency aviation groups. With his knowledge of tactical operations, and renowned leadership abilities, Scott is our Head of Tactical.
Bevan Lewell

Bevan Lewell

Head of Flight
Flying for Air New Zealand (Mt Cook), while running a consultancy business in aviation documentation, shows that Bevan has the right pedigree to be the Head of Flight. A former RNZAF avionics technician, he then qualified as a pilot, so is able to understand the nuances of running an aviation organisation in compliance with the rules, from both sides of the fence. This makes his supervision pivotal to our success.
Rory Houston

Rory Houston

Head of Growth
Fighter pilots usually fit a mould. It takes an extra special breed to have the mental flexibility and natural flair for business to succeed the way Rory is outside of piloting fast jets. Rory understands the pressures of start-up business and handles them with aplomb. A networking mastermind, he is our Head of Growth.

Thiwanka Jayasiri (TJ)

Software Lead

TJ has been able to use his gift with software development (especially geospatial) and his customer engagement abilities to assist multinationals and small-medium companies to grow rapidly. Recently, TJ also exited well from his own software business in AR/VR. He has a Masters in Applied Data Science, a Master of Science in Geoinformatics, and an ED in Economics.

Alex Fleming

Alex Fleming

US-based Technical Liaison

In his new role, Alex is able to promote Skybase’s growth into the US market.Alex is a highly accomplished Aerospace Engineer, and MBA graduate, with innovations and inventions in vertical flight aircraft, military jet engines, propulsion and alternative energy systems.

Alex Toohey

Finance - Admin - Support

Alex is a highly passionate, capable and motivated team player. He joined Skybase in his final semester of a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance & Business Economics) to become responsible for the financial, administrative and support elements of the business.

Advisory Board



As the former CEO of Virgin Pacific and former CAA Board of Directors, and as a highly experienced pilot, John leads the Advisory Board.


Mark is the owner and founder of the world’s largest aircraft leasing business. A former military aviator, Mark’s advice is invaluable.


When Google search needed a commercial product, Jeff led the Google Adwords team. Being gifted at marketing, his non-aviation background provide unique insights.


Matt is fast becoming a business guru in Australia. A sought-after speaker, Matt is a world expert at high performing teams. Runs two very successful health businesses.


Tim’s humility does not bely his exceptional achievements. Former GM Airlines for CAA and Director Flight Ops Air Nelson, Tim knows how to get things done in aviation.


Being awarded the Order of Vanuatu for his role in building aviation in Vanuatu, and as a founding member of Air Vanuatu, Max’s steering of strategic matters is vital.

Our Partners:

MAG Aerospace Logo



Being able to fly Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) is the key to unlocking the potential within the unmanned aviation sector. The military have been doing it for decades, but not in airspace that is used by everybody. This is a big challenge, and we reckon we’ve solved it.

To ensure our success at the technology development, we ensure that our clients receive world-class services for aerial mapping- much faster results than traditional aerial mapping, with lidar and photogrammetry in challenging conditions. We also offer unique airborne surveillance services, which is a safer option for many agencies such as fire, police & search and rescue, military but also environmental surveillance.



New Zealand is an ideal place for aerospace technology development and testing. With a world class regulator, rich ecosystem and dedicated testing areas, we can move much faster here than, arguably, anywhere else in the world.

With challenging terrain, brutal weather, a dispersed population and high operating costs, New Zealand is the perfect place to prove that we can do mapping and surveillance anywhere on the planet.

We now have agencies in Australia, Indonesia and soon Canada and the USA.

New Zealand

Christchurch, NZ (HQ)

Level 1, 293 Durham St
Christchurch Center, 8013

+64 3 669 4678

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Brisbane, Aus

Coming Soon In 2019

+61 7 4243 4678

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San Francisco, USA

169 11th St
San Francisco, 94103

+1 415 610 4678

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Jakarta, IDN

Jl Rawa Bambu, Block A No 7 A
Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta

+62 812 804 8710

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