Commercial Drones PilotsJV plans to train ‘common man’ to fly drones

October 29, 2021by helo-10

NEW DELHI: Realising the true potential of drones, state government departments have now begun tying up with the JV of state-run Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) and private sector major Drone Destination to train pilots as they plan to use these unmanned aerial systems for more and more purposes like land mapping, agriculture and even law and order. The JV currently has two drone pilot schools in Manesar and Bengaluru, and plans to open about 50 are across the country.
“Our aim is to ensure ‘udaye drone aam naagrik (common man flies drone)’ by having as many centres across the country as possible in coming days. Prime Minister Modi has helped unleash the true potential of this technology in India through a new drone policy that was driven by him and made possible this new UDAN of ‘udaye drone aam naagrik’. Drones need trained pilots and we will train as many as possible through our schools and by tying up with both corporates and state government departments,” said Drone Destinations promoter Chirag Sharma.
Haryana’s had recently constituted Drone Imaging and Information Service of Haryana Limited (DRIISHYA) for speedy implementation of various types of surveys and imaging work using drones as manual surveys take much longer. Drone surveys are expected to benefit several departments like revenue, mining, forest, traffic, disaster management and agriculture. (DRIISHYA) recently jointly signed an MoU with IGRUA and Drone Destination for training.
IGRUA director Krishnendu Gupta had recently told TOI the academy is now diversifying beyond training commercial aircraft pilots to other areas in a bid to generate funds and become self sufficient. “We issued an expression of interest to tie up for drone pilot training institutes. Drone Destination, which also manufactures drones, was chosen as they are experts in this field as we are in ours. We will open many more centres jointly in other cities, like Kolkata and Pune,” Gupta had said.
IGRUA and Drone Destination currently operate out of two satellite campuses one in Manesar, Haryana, and the other in Bengaluru. “With the launch of the new drone policy, we envision to establish drone training schools with various state governments across India,” Gupta had said.
Drone Destination’s Chirag Sharma said more drone pilot training schools will come up in places like Mumbai, Chennai, Bhopal, Kolkata and Pune. “A large number of government programmes will be implemented using drones. The ‘Swamitva’ scheme — where people in villages will be given title to their lands after mapping by drones — will alone absorb 55,000 pilots. Using drones in agriculture for land survey to determine soil health and pesticide spray will absorb an equal number. And these are just two examples,” Sharma said.
Officials say a drone school can train about 300 pilots annually. “The cost for multi-rotor drone training is Rs 55,000 (plus taxes) and the course is of six-day duration. Training for the bigger fixed wing drones and hybrid drones (vertical take off and landing) can cost up to Rs 1.25 lakh,” they say.

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There is more to being a drone pilot than just buying a machine and flying in your backyard. It can be that simple, but most of us will need to understand some drone laws before we try to take to the sky.


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