RUSTA notes sharp surge in women enrolling on drone training courses


RUSTA has announced an upsurge in the amount of women registering on its training courses over the last twelve months.

The Bristol-based firm offers CAA approved National Qualified Entity training programmes which cover a wide range of commercial industries and backgrounds.

On the shift, Sion Roberts, managing director of RUSTA, said: “As one of the longest running NQE academies in the UK, the last three and a half years have given us a wealth of data that we’ve used to examine the demographic of operators. What we discovered, is that male operators have vastly outnumbered their female counterparts. However, this domination may be coming to an end.

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He continued: “Over the last twelve months more women have been attending our five-star courses, but even more encouragingly, they have been outperforming their male peers.”

Recent graduate Gemma Alcock, who was the first woman to pass all of the programme’s exams with a 100% rating to obtain the UAV academies’ ‘Gold Wings’, has founded her own UAV company, SkyBound Rescue, on the back of her training programme.

She has also been named InterDrone’s ‘Woman to Watch in UAS 2018’ and a finalist in the Dorset Venus Awards’ ‘Inspirational Woman’ category.

Another recent graduate is Abbie-Jaye Wilson, who qualified around two years ago.

She reflected back on what her experience was like: “When I took the course back in 2016, I was the only woman in a group of eight. It’s great to see more women enrolling on RUSTA’s training courses to gain the skills and necessary flying requirements to pilot drones safely and effectively.”

She added: “I thought the course was very thought out and informative, and the instructors offered an amazing insight into dronography.”

This follows news last week about how Women Who Drone, a start-up wanting to change the gender gap among pilots, has launched a crowdfunding campaign in order to help with their goal of making the current 3% figure into something more respectable.

Read more on CDP’s coverage of that story here:

Startup launches crowdfunding campaign to change drone pilot gender gap

Tags : RustaWomen in dronesWomen Who Drone
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas


  1. Blanket statements about a group that comprises over 50 percent of the population. I am sure some females are better pilots than their male counterparts and VI’s versa. To make rote absolute statements does no one justice. If this was true then I will hire only female drone operators.e

  2. Really, Really, Gender wage gap? This does nothing other than perpetuate a liberal myth. I am currently deployed in an aster environment. I get shot at, mortered, away from my family 8 months out of the year. The imaginary gender wage gap is because women CHOOSE not to participate in this profession, not because they are paid less than I am.

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