Express News Service
CHENNAI: Anna University’s Centre for Aerospace Research (CASR) will soon start remote pilot training as it has been granted Remote Pilot Training Organization (RPTO) status by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
This will enable CASR to conduct remote pilot training in accordance with Rule 34 of the Unmanned Aircraft System Rules, 2021 as well as issue licenses/certificates on behalf of the DGCA, which are mandatory for flying remotely-piloted aircraft systems in the country, as per the government’s new regulations.
The centre aims to start the training programme within a few months, and has started the recruitment process for it. It has called for applications for 18 posts in the RPTO, including chief operating officer, chief pilot instructor, and senior remote pilot instructor. The centre has tentatively decided to conduct interviews for the posts on August 14.
“CASR is the first in India to obtain the approval under the category of government-approved universities, which is only given to State government flying schools,” said CASR director K Senthil Kumar. Officials at the centre said the development would give a major boost to the State government’s plans of making Tamil Nadu a drone-manufacturing hub.
Kumar said the centre applied to the DGCA for the status as they have been working in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles for quite a few years and have sufficient expertise and experience. The status was granted after the infrastructure was examined.
Kumar pointed out that there are opportunities for the use of drones, such as in logistics, agriculture, e-commerce, government surveys, journalism and law enforcement, and the State requires more than 40,000 trained remote pilots.
“CASR is a unique RPTO that has been given medium multirotor training approval, which includes the category of agricultural spraying drones. The RPTO status will enable us to empower rural and underprivileged youth by way of RPAS training at an affordable cost,” said Kumar.
The centre has been associated with government agencies and designed drones for them. CASR’s drones have been used amid the pandemic for surveillance and spraying disinfectant.