India Gets It’s 1st Batch Of Certified Drone Pilots

Fifteen Cadets were felicitated today at the AAI Officers Institute - Aviatorsbuzz
Fifteen Cadets were felicitated today at the AAI Officers Institute in the presence of Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Amber Dubey. Source: MoCA

In the ongoing thrust given to the development of drone technology in India, New Delhi-based Redbird Flight Training Academy, a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved Remotely Piloted Aircraft System or RPAS training institute has become the first flight training organisation to have successfully trained its inaugural batch of certified RPAS pilots.

The Unmanned Aircraft Operator Permit (UAOP) course training was successfully conducted on RPAS/drone model P1 manufactured by RAYS AVIATION, a Mumbai-based firm.

Fifteen Cadets were felicitated today at the AAI Officers Institute in the presence of Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Amber Dubey.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Dubey said, “I congratulate the young pilots from Redbird Training Academy on this achievement and welcome them as the first batch of RPAS pilots. It is a matter of pride and responsibility to take this forward as the frontline and future trainers, maintaining the highest standards of quality. We will become the drone capital of the world and we all need to work together to make this happen effectively.”

Mr. Dubey explained that there is a lot of demand on the defence and civilian side. “The Svamitva project by the Survey of India itself includes 6.6 lac villages to be mapped by 2024. This is a stiff target, but we must surprise the world. We are a nation of large numbers and the scope for adoption of drone technology is immense basis existing development and agriculture projects being executed,” he said.

Captain Abhilasha Singh, VP Training, Redbird Flight Training Academy said they are proud to be the first to roll out a batch of certified RPAS pilots. “We have seen great success and learning in the curriculum imparting process and are prepared to scale this to reach out to maximum potential talent. Not only is this an effective skill development opportunity but also a critical tool for rural development,” she said.

Apart from growing its capacity to be able to train over 1,000 drone pilots every month subject to regulatory clearances, RFTA also said it was committed to making this training accessible to the grass root level.

The training institute will offer free training over a hundred villages across India and locally appoint boys and girls to grow homegrown capability of drone surveillance supporting to the development across regions and aid the ongoing digital mapping initiative across rural India.

The intensive certificate programme takes 5-6 days to complete and includes classroom training, simulator and real flying experience at the Redbird Flight Training Academy, Baramati.

There have been multiple practical applications of drones identified for effective aerial surveillance, data gathering, mapping and analysis in development of projects. Having an effective talent pool to scale up application and support this growing adoption of drone technology in India is a vision Redbird Flight Training Academy is keen to fulfil.


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Deputy Editor, AviatorsBuzz Aditya Anand in his nearly two decades of Journalism experience has tracked Aviation, Travel, and Hospitality closely and reported on it for major publications like The Hindu, Mumbai Mirror, and MIDDAY.