Bid to tap ever-expanding scope of drones and need for licensed operators
With the opportunities offered by drones ever expanding, the State government’s Additional Skill Acquisition Programme (ASAP) Kerala has expanded its Executive Programme in Micro Category Drone Pilot Training to Ernakulam district as well.
The 96-hour course in operating micro-category drones weighing up to 2 kg is likely to be rolled out in the district in the third week of October shortly after its maiden launch in Kozhikode. It will be offered in collaboration with the Kozhikode-based Indian Institute of Drones and the Autonomous Industry.
“Those successfully clearing the course will be eligible for the licence issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for operating drones, which has been mandatory since 2018,” said Anandulal Sankar, programme manager, ASAP, Ernakulam.
Those who have cleared Class X and are in the 18-60 age group are eligible to apply. The course fee is ₹43,000.
The programme has evoked great response with the registration already exceeding 100. A batch will accommodate only 20 candidates. A lot of young women, including graduates, have evinced interest in the programme.
The course would either be conducted at ASAP’s district community skill park at Kalamasserry or on the Edappally Higher Secondary School campus.
The course curriculum comprises five modules — aerial cinematography, 3D mapping, surveying, UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) manufacturing and UAV assembling.
The multi-purpose scope of drones is increasing by the day. In some metro cities, e-commerce portals are exploring the scope of using drones for delivering goods. The National Highways Authority of India and the Agriculture Department are using them for aerial surveys while the Kerala State Electricity Board uses them for facilitating the drawing of electric lines over wide waterbodies.
Dearth of authorised persons
“Though there is considerable demand for drone operators, the dearth of licensed, authorised operators remains a challenge. Since this is an evolving area we may not be able to guarantee the candidates assured placing, but our partners will be able to keep them posted about the vacancies reported with them,” said Mr. Sankar.
The training will be held using micro-category drones. Only nano, micro, and small category drones are allowed for commercial operations and medium and large category drones are restricted to military purposes, said Mr. Sankar.
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