TAFE offers new course in drone piloting.

Tamra CarrThe West Australian

With the explosion of commercial applications for unmanned aerial vehicles and rapidly growing opportunities in the piloting space, Geraldton’s Central Regional TAFE is aiming to cement itself as the go-to spot for drone qualifications with its newest course.

The lessons will cover a variety of different topics such as how drones work, how they are being used and in what industries, where they can be flown and what the legal requirements are.

Qualified trainer Jerome Leray said learning how to pilot drones could benefit people and businesses in the Mid West and Gascoyne, particularly given the large mining, environmental and agricultural industries in the region.

“On mining sites, drones are being used for surveying areas, and businesses are getting volume metrics and other important information,” he said.

“Environmentally, drones are being used to conduct analysis on vegetation, to determine whether trees are healthy or not, and to detect changes in biomass or erosion.

“And there are definitely applications in the agricultural sector.

“Drones are now highly relevant when it comes to spraying contractors.”

Mr Leray also noted the benefits of hosting the course in Geraldton.

“A lot of companies are outsourcing drone pilots, but bringing those skills in internally is an obvious avenue for them,” he said.

“At the moment, to be qualified, you have to go down to Perth, so this means people can study locally.

“We already have the City of Greater Geraldton and Northern Agricultural Catchments Council quite interested.”

Locals interested in learning how to pilot drones are encouraged to contact Central Regional TAFE.

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