Thursday, December 9, 2021

Drones do need ‘pilots’ and this Academy would produce truckloads of them soon





With the digital revolution improving microprocessors and long-distance communication all the time, the role of drones has expanded exponentially not just in military operations but also in civilian applications in last few years. This rapidly emerging technology has given many start-ups a new sector–the drone industry–to dig their heels in.

Gurugram-based Redbird Flight Training Academy (RFTA) has become the first institute to rollout its inaugural batch of trained and certified Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) pilots.

The academy is a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved flying training institute which offers flying courses to students planning a career in Aviation.

The institute has turned the fantasy of being a drone pilot into reality by issuing a certified training course in drone piloting.

The course training of 15 Cadets was successfully conducted on drone model P1 manufactured by a Mumbai based firm, Rays Aviation.

The Cadets were felicitated at the Airport Authority of India Officers Institute in the presence of Amber Dubey, joint secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation, in New Delhi on Friday.

While addressing on the occasion, Dubey said: “There is a lot of demand (for drones) on the defense and civilian side. The Swamitva 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 on existing development and agriculture projects being executed.”

Captain Karan Mann (second left in the image above), the President of Redbird Aviation, besides these aspects of drone technology, also mentioned how it could provide means of livelihood to many.  He said they now have plans to take it to the remotest areas of the country.

“Our Mission is to make villagers `atmanirbhar’. With this mechanism, a village can manage its own surveillance. They do not need to go to the district or local police. They will have eyes on everything. Gram Panchayats can choose their representatives and we will provide the training for free. It will change the life of the person who is going to operate it.” He added.

As 40% of the representative will be women, the initiative will also empower women, making them self-reliant.

Captain Abhilasha Singh (right corner in image), VP Training said, “We are proud to be the first to roll out a batch of certified RPAS pilots.”

Ms Harpreet AD Singh, president of Indian Women Pilot Association, and first-ever woman CEO of an Indian carrier, Alliance Air in this case, was also present on the occasion. She applauded Redbird for its commitment to empower women.

Redbird Academy offers a certificate program that takes 5-6 days, including classroom training, simulator, and real flying experience. The academy is planning to train over 1,000 drone pilots every month. 

“To become a drone trainer, you only need class 10th with English as a major subject.  As we are planning to take it to villagers, it will also boost education in villagers. Agar 10th hojaye to hum bhi pilot ban sakte hai (we can also become pilot after clearing 10th).”  VP Abhilasha said while discussing the prospects of the training.

The Academy has also recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GD Goenka University to offer academic collaboration for its programs in the area of aviation. The University will be offering new courses like B. Sc. in Aviation Management with Commercial Pilot License (Degree Courses). B.B.A. in Aviation with Private Pilot License (Degree Courses) and Commercial Pilot License Course.

“These courses will give ample amount of opportunity to people. It does not limit their career to aviation only, they can also try their hands in the field of management,” Abhilasha added.

The institute is also the first aviation academy recognized and approved as a training partner by the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) that aims to promote skill development by crystalizing the creation of large, quality, and for-profit vocational institutions. Having the highest ratio of female pilots in a training academy in India, they also actively participate in The Indian Women Pilots’ Association and International Women Professionals in Aviation  Aerospace (IWPA).


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