EXCLUSIVE: Training academy calls for more qualified drone instructors across the UK

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As the list of commercial applications for drones continues to expand in the UK, professional instructors are urging regulation bodies to implement a minimum universal standard for all UAV instructors.

Sion Roberts, managing director of UAV training academy RUSTA, told Commercial Drone Professional that he would like to see all qualified entities have staff with an extensive background in aviation.

Lincolnshire-based RUSTA has trained and issued recommendations for permission for commercial operation (PfCO) to over 500 operators and many public entities nationwide and boasts a team of instructors with either civil or commercial aviation backgrounds.

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Roberts told CDP: “I would like to see everyone be an instructor, and I know some qualified entities that are just guys who haven’t got much experience. I’m sure they’re very good guys and they know their stuff but they haven’t got those credentials to teach and there should be some minimum standard you have to achieve before you teach.

“That, to me, is the biggest frustration. The analogy I use is that we all brush our teeth but we don’t profess to be dentists. The CAA are aware that they need to put in tighter regulations; that will only be good for us and our business.”

The training academy considers accreditation and quality of its staff to be a priority in its business model, something which Roberts believes helps RUSTA stand out from its competitors.

“The initial selling points that we always put in place, having military instructors, we have never flexed on,” Roberts added. “We have always had that and a lot of people came up to me at the Commercial UAV Show and said ‘I have been flying these for three year I think I can be an instructor’ and I’m like ‘I’m sure you know what you’re talking about but we need instructional qualifications so that people are instructed to the right standard and have prior aviation subjects’. We have never bent on that.”

Tags : Commercial UAV ShowDrone pilotinstructorpilotRustaSion Roberts
Emma Calder

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