DRONE pilots can expect to see more employment opportunities as there is increasing demand from industries such as security, agriculture and creative content.
Mersing Industrial Training Institute (ILP) manpower department technical lecturer Wan Hasyidan Wan Hussein said the institute had recently worked with the National Association of Skilled Workers (PKPB) to train more of such pilots in the country.
“PKPB is hoping that the Mersing ILP can produce at least 1,000 drone pilots every year to meet the demand from agencies in various fields.
“For example, the agriculture and security sectors are in need of pilots to fly drones to monitor their land and properties. The drones are equipped with thermal imaging or night vision, ” he told StarMetro in Johor Baru.
He explained that drones were handy in instances where a company was unable or could not afford to employ a big workforce to monitor a large area.
Wan Hasyidan said the institute had been receiving a steady increase of applicants who wanted to be drone pilots as more people were becoming aware of this career option.
“Presently, 500 people have registered for the training course, compared to about 400 last year.
“The course is divided into four categories of content and skills.
“Level I is for basic drone handling, Level II for photography and video shoots, Level III for geo-mapping and Level IV for inspection and surveillance.
“I usually recommend that beginners take Levels I and II classes, because these do not involve complex information and settings and are suitable for people who do not have a drone yet, ” said Wan Hasyidan.
He elaborated that Level I and Level II consisted of a five-day workshop, which cost RM500 each, while the Level III and Level IV training lasted two weeks and cost about RM2,500.
“That advanced qualification is equivalent to a Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia Level 3 certificate, ” he said.
Wan Hasyidan, who is also deputy president of the Malaysian Drone Club, said the going rate for a drone pilot’s fee was about RM2,500 per job taking photographs and videos, while a mapping job could be as much as RM20,000.
He emphasised that the Mersing ILP only awarded training certificates.
Drone pilots, he said, would have to apply for the necessary permits to operate a drone, which included a flight permit from the Civil Aviation Authority and a permit from the Survey and Mapping Department (Jupem) to shoot photos and videos.
“There are rules and regulations that each drone owner must adhere to, especially for recreational flying.
“Among them are no-fly zone areas such as government buildings and military sites.
“Drone flying is also not allowed around a huge crowd of people and over private properties, unless one is flying the drone within 120m from the ground.
“Anyone who buys a drone must be aware of the rules and regulations involved in flying the machine, ” said Wan Hasyidan.
He added that creating awareness of drones had also become one of the institute’s objectives.