A specialist photography and filming company is ready for take-off into the world of drones as it adds to its bulging camera bag of services for the offshore energy industry.

CHPV Offshore Energy Media Services has been capturing images of engineering and industry for 50 years since the early days of offshore gas in the Southern North Sea.

But now the team based in Lowestoft, Suffolk, is launching aerial drone work and 360-degree virtual tours into its range of specialist services.

It took a year of training before CHPV applied for Civil Aviation Authority permission for commercial operations.

Business owner Alan O’Neill, who is the company “pilot”, said: “Just like flying a real plane, you have to learn about air space and air traffic control through a flight school.

“There is flight test and you have to draw up an operation manual. It is like taking your driving test and having to write the Highway Code too!”