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UAV Industries launches free Remote Pilot Licence (RPL) Training Course exclusively for women


9th July 2018, Cape Town: Commercial drone operator and drone pilot training company, UAV Industries has announced the launch of a free Remote Pilot Licence Training Course exclusively for women. The Remote Pilot Licence (RPL) is one of the prerequisites for working commercially as a drone pilot under the South African Aviation Authority’s regulatory framework and the free course aims to attract women interested in building a career within unmanned aviation.

Despite the rapid expansion of the drone industry globally and the steady growth in demand for commercial drone services in South Africa, UAV Industries has noted a significant disparity in the number of male versus female students completing their RPL courses. Having trained over 500 RPL students since the opening of their certified flight school in 2016, only 21 (5%) have been female.

Committed to improving this ratio and to changing the perceptions of the drone industry as being a male-oriented arena, UAV Industries will run the free RPL Training Course in Cape Town, beginning on August 6th with a week of ground school classes, followed by one-to-one practical flying lessons. The course, valued at R26,500 per student, is open to a maximum of 10 women, who will be selected according to a variety of factors, including their CV, motivation and availability to attend and complete the full training. Following successful completion, an internship at the company may be offered, depending on the candidates’ overall competency.

The timing of the course ties in with National Women’s Day on 9th August, as well as the Global Aviation Gender Summit that is being hosted at the CTICC in Cape Town from 8 – 10th August by the South African Aviation Authority (SA CAA), in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and in collaboration with UNESCO. At this summit, attendees will discuss the transformation of gender inequality within aviation, touching on cultural, educational and professional barriers and enablers, as well as leadership and innovation.

Head of Training, Ken Venn, says:

“The fact that there is such a high ratio of men to women working within the commercial drone industry is not due to any logistical barriers to entry imposed on female job seekers. Environmental and social bias such as stereotyping and gender bias remain primarily responsible for the low number of women globally who pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). UAV Industries believes that unmanned aviation offers a challenging and rewarding work environment for both sexes and is committed to actively encouraging and supporting #WomenInDrones through ongoing training programmes and internship opportunities.”

To apply for the free woman’s RPL Training Course in August 2018, applicants should send their CV and motivational letter to

Applicants must be 18 years or older and be in possession of a Class 4 Medial Certificate. Read full prerequisites here.

Closing date for submissions is Friday 27th July 2018.

UAV Industries launches South Africa’s first accredited Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) training


Cape Town, 8th of May 2018: UAV Industries, a leading commercial drone pilot training and operations company, has announced the launch of its accredited Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) Training Course, open to all drone pilots in possession of a valid Remote Pilot Licence (RPL). First to market in Africa, the B-VLOS training course is endorsed by both the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SA CAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The advent of BVLOS training in South Africa represents a big step up for both UAV Industries and the SA CAA in terms of international BVLOS operations and standards. There are currently no other African countries within the ICAO states offering a BVLOS endorsement that complies with both ICAO and local regulations. This endorsement allows a correctly certified RPL pilot to now undertake BVLOS operations, ensuring a consistent standard that complies with accepted international aviation standards.

“UAV Industries has been working hand in hand with the SA CAA for the last two years to get BVLOS endorsement standards and course contents finalized”, says Ken Venn, Head of Training at UAV Industries.

“With no African BVLOS precedent to follow, this has not been an easy process, but we are delighted that together we have successfully developed a blueprint for global BVLOS training and operations for the future.”

Current Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) drone regulations limit operations to a radius of 500m of the drone operator and a maximum upward distance of 400ft. With a BVLOS rating, and operating commercially with a suitable operating business and equipment, a BVLOS pilot will now be able to undertake much longer missions, making the use of drone technology more effective. Furthermore, a single pilot can now cover a much wider area within a single mission.

Much of the BVLOS endorsement training focuses on the people skills and specialist training needed to operate such missions safely. The Remotely Piloted Aircrafts (RPAS) or drones used to undertake these missions will have special emphasis on air to ground communication technology and redundant options, as well as sense-and-avoid technology, so that other airspace users can be avoided if necessary. Spread over 10 days, the training course is open to RPAS pilots with a valid RPL and is currently being offered at the UAV Industries Flight School in both Cape Town and Johannesburg, commencing in Cape Town immediately.

Venn continued:

“BVLOS is a game changer to the drone industry and brings about significant opportunity for expansion. It will enable us to do long-range missions and data gathering operations and be more cost effective, meaning companies who previously found VLOS limits uneconomical, can now revisit their aerial requirements and use BVLOS to improve efficiency.”

Applications that will immediately benefit from this are security and linear infrastructure inspections (railway lines and power lines). Security operations for wider areas can be undertaken with one team operating overnight, covering 100 square km’s of land by drone. In other operations, certain ground features being examined are long by nature, e.g. pipelines and electricity distribution cables. In such instances, a BVLOS operation will allow a single pilot to cover 60-100 km of these features in just one fight. Over time, this distance capability is expected to extend as technology improves.

Venn concluded:

“As one of the acknowledged thought leaders in drone pilot training, not just in South Africa, but globally, UAV Industries is excited to be at the forefront of BVLOS training development and commercial operations and we look forward to a continued involvement in finding solutions to ongoing challenges faced by the global drone industry.”