Drone Schools Take Flight Down Under

A boy is flying a drone in Switzerland.

As drone-related businesses continue to grow – along with new regulations – schools specializing in pilot training and certification are taking flight everywhere –including Australia.

In Perth, Global Drone Solutions has launched a program that is fast becoming the standard in training schools across Western Australia.

In a recent interview with Perth Now, GDS founder Mahmood Hussein estimated that more than 600 drone pilots would be certified by year’s end in accordance with Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) regulations.

With the exception of micro-drones, commercial drone users must earn a Remote Pilot’s license and operate under an operator’s certificate. The license allows pilots to operate a UAV within visual line of sight.

Hussein believes drone jobs will explode as new industries – such as precision agriculture, mining, utilities and construction — start to employ more unmanned aerial inspections.

“Drones have only got traction in the past three years,” Hussein said in the interview. “They take the dull and dangerous out of a job and do it quicker.”

A standard GDS course includes CASA-required safety and risk management topics, flight planning and prep, multi-rotor system overviews, aeronautical knowledge, meteorology and drone maintenance.

In addition, many schools like GDS offer courses and consultations designed to equip new drone entrepreneurs with topics such as sales, marketing, development and accounting.

“For people pursuing a career as a drone pilot, the rewards are great,” Hussein said in a recent interview. “The average salary of a drone pilot is already around $100,000 (AUS) with the top end nudging $150,000 (AUS) a year.”

Hussein is especially bullish on UAV surveys for the mining industry.  “By allowing surveyors to collect accurate spatial data from above, drone technology can vastly reduce risk by minimizing the time staff spends on site,” he said.

“Drone-based data collection can also boost productivity; surveying projects that once took days or weeks using traditional surveying techniques are now possible in just a few hours.”

The school primarily trains using target=”_blank”>DJI products including Mavic, Phantom 4 and Inspire 1.


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