The drone industry is spreading its wings across several industry sectors and is only set to expand in the future. It is one of the fast-growing sectors which needs a substantial workforce that is both highly talented and technically sound as it is soon going to be one of the most valuable technologies in sectors like agriculture, healthcare, tourism, media, etc.
With the drone sector expanding and drones positively disrupting various industry sectors, it is important we understand a few fundamental aspects related to drones and drone technology. To find answers to the most asked questions related to drones and drone technology, we spoke to Mr. Amit Takte, VP – Technology and Training, DroneAcharya Aerial Innovations.
Below are a few excerpts from our conversation, you can watch the full video interview on our YouTube channel.
In this conversation, you will learn more and find out answers to the following:
- Why is Drone Pilot Training called Remote Pilot Training?
- How many DGCA-approved training organizations are authorized to offer Drone Training?
- How can one avail of the services of DroneAcharya?
- How can one start a drone training organization?
- Is it necessary to have a specific background to participate in the training, or can anyone participate?
- How can one acquire or purchase a drone?
- What if the individual using the drone is facing a situation of emergency?
- Is the training only for drone pilots? What about the training for getting into other areas of drones like drone data analytics?
- What are the prerequisites for a person to fly a drone after training?
- Could you tell us about the application of drones in various sectors?
Q: Why is Drone Pilot Training called Remote Pilot Training?
A: The major difference between drones and real aircraft is that in the aircraft, the pilot is seated in the aircraft, and for drones, the pilot operates remotely by standing in the field and flying the drone and that is why it is called Remote Pilot Training.
Q: How many DGCA-approved training organizations are authorized to offer Drone Training?
A: Currently, DGCA has approved 23 organizations to offer Remote Pilot Training in India. However, the number might increase in the future. On behalf of DGCA, these training organizations are also authorised to give certification after completion of drone pilot training.
Q: How can one avail of the services of DroneAcharya?
A: There are two aspects of the training:
- Simulation and Theory Aspect
- Practical Training Aspect
To avail of the services of DroneAcharya, one needs to come down to the training centre for certification and to access the RPTO formed by DroneAcharya in Pune. It is important to note that there are designated areas and locations approved by DGCA to carry out flight training.
Q: How can one start a drone training organisation?
A: For someone to start their own RPTO, there is a D5 form that is available on the DGCA website that talks about launching an RPTO and the information needed by an organisation or individual to start an RPTO in India. It also provides information on locations, hardware, ground specification requirements, classroom specification requirements, etc.
Q: Is it necessary to have a specific background to participate in the training, or is it open for everyone?
A: Anyone who is willing to enter the industry and wants to obtain a drone pilot license can enter this area without any special educational background.
Requirements are listed on the DGCA DigitalSky website for RPTOs that are eligible to receive training and apply for a licence online.
The only requirements mentioned by DGCA are:
- Should be the 10th pass
- Should be above 18 years of age and
- Should have an Indian passport
Based on the curriculum approved by the DGCA, the training duration lasts between five to seven days.
Also read: How DroneAcharya is building capacity through training solutions for the Drone Industry – https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/how-droneacharya-is-building-capacity-through-training-solutions-for-the-drone-industry/
Q: How can one acquire or purchase a drone?
A: For training purposes, we require a drone with a Unique Identification Number (UIN) issued by the DGCA for training reasons, and we need UIN drones that are available online to deliver training in RPTO.
For commercial activities (photography, survey, surveillance, etc.), we require a UIN drone, which is the registration number given by DGCA to the person operating the drone. The list of UIN drones is given on the DigitalSky website, one can contact the person having the drone and purchase it. Another way is can buy a drone and get it UIN linked.
To build one’s own drone, which is not made or purchased, we must have it certified by a certifying authority listed on the DGCA website. Once certified, the drone can be used for business purposes or even sold to another buyer for business use.
Q: What if the individual using the drone is facing a situation of emergency?
A: We spend a lot of time discussing how to manage emergencies and circumstances if the drone crashes in the pilot training course. A certified pilot must be familiar with the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency, which is covered in the training offered by DroneAcharya.
A person’s ability to become a pilot is primarily determined by how they perform in exams and by their ability to adhere to all of the prescribed procedures. The pilot receives training on how to handle emergency situations and the procedures that must be followed in the event of a deadly accident.
Drone maintenance is also one of the services that organizations provide when non-usable drones are refurbished and assist customers.
Q: Is the training only for drone pilots? What about the training for getting into other areas of drones like drone data analytics?
A: We do provide them with a thorough understanding of the sector and the operations that use drones and drone data throughout training. The higher-level components of data analytics are thus taught in training, but in-depth courses are necessary if someone wants to pursue drone data analytics as a career.
Consequently, during pilot training, we provide a thorough overview and understanding of that technology, but drone data captured detail subject is another course which contains various knowledge and insight.
Q: What are the prerequisites for a person to fly a drone after training?
A: Yes, but there are four parameters that need to be followed once the training is completed.
- Need to have UIN registered drone
- Need to have an insurance policy for the drones
- Need to fly in the green zone area
- Need to maintain the height restriction of 400 ft. and fly within the visual line of sight
Q: What is the validity period of the drone pilot license?
A: A 10-year validity term is provided. After that, they must renew their licence with the RPTO where they originally obtained it. They must pay a nominal fee in accordance with government regulations.
Q: Could you tell us about the application of drones in various sectors?
A: To access the services of a drone, we need to contact one of the many service-providing organisations in India to receive these types of services. This service is being offered in the agricultural sectors by separate Agri special services specialists, either for crop analysis or spraying.
In addition, these services are available to government entities like the police or any other forces that wish to use them for their own purposes. The department can either approach a private organisation that is present in the city, or they can follow the formal process where they call out the vendors in this activity and choose the vendor from whom they can obtain their services.