16 complete Australian-certified drone operator programme

Participants of the Australian-certified drone operator course and firefighters pose for a group photo.

KUCHING, Sept 1: Kuching Skills College (KSC) recently concluded training for its first batch of Australian-certified drone operators comprising 16 participants.

Teaming up with Asia Drone Technical Academy to bring a robust drone pilot training programme to Sarawak, the comprehensive training programme models called Certified Drone Operation, Maintenance, Aerial Surveillance Proficient, puts students on the path to becoming drone entrepreneurs.

According to KSC media relations representative Novert Sullang Douglas Sullang, the programme is meant to develop the capabilities of young Sarawakians through drone technology training.

“This programme was also inspired by our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg who wanted to shape up the youths sooner than later and promote entrepreneurship.

“The course is great for anybody who wants to become a drone pilot but the primary aim of the course is to unlock new opportunities for our Sarawakian youth to be drone entrepreneurs in line with Industrial Revolution 4.0,” Novert revealed in a statement, adding that drones are a powerful and relatively inexpensive way to increase revenue and lower costs for big or small projects.

Participants had 14 full days behind the controls of a drone, practising basic to advanced manoeuvres and learning how to operate their drones.

Local drone pilots Geoffrey Lee and Alvin Chai, provided hands-on instruction and demonstrated how to operate a drone safely and efficiently.

Drone pilot Lee (left) briefing Bomba Sarawak senior officer John Sagun and other senior officers on aspects of drone technology.

Aside from getting familiarised with various aspects of drone technology and basic flight operations, participants also learned and received individual hands-on flight time with a variety of aircraft systems, such as DJI Mavic, Phantom, fixed winged drone and helicopter drone.

Dr Lee Beng Yong from International Conference on Computer and Drone Applications (IConDA) also gave a talk on their various projects and the future of drones in Sarawak.


Meanwhile, Sarawak Fire and Rescue department (Bomba) Head of Public Safety and Awareness – Fire and Safety division PgB Nik Muhammad Afiq Nik Roslan gave a talk on the usage of drone especially during forest fires and their recent search and rescue (SAR) operations.

“When a disaster or incident threatens lives and livelihoods, Bomba Sarawak need information and real-time imagery in order to make better and faster decisions as time is of essence for any SAR.

“UAVs can provide situational awareness over a large area quickly, reducing the time and the number of searchers required to locate and rescue an injured or lost person, greatly reducing the cost and risks of SAR operations,” Nik Muhammad Afiq pointed out.

Bomba Sarawak senior officer (operations) John Sagun (left) listens as firefighters were briefed about one of the drones used in the course.

Sarawak Bomba senior officer (operations) PgKB II John Sagun Francis and his team also demonstrated how they execute SAR missions by using drones.

“While drones are rapidly demonstrating its value across many industries, its application is particularly dramatic with in SAR operations with its extra range and reach. Unlike other applications which are fairly routinized and predictable, SAR operations are very unpredictable and each operation is unique in its execution,” John pointed out.

Meanwhile, the course is also Asia’s first drone operator proficient programme certified by City and Guilds UK and Institute for Drone Technology Australia.

City and Guilds is a global leader in skills development and apprenticeship schemes with two million learners working on diverse qualifications every year. It was established with the royal charter from UK.

The Institute for Drone Technology is a recognised industry leader and outspoken proponent for the integration of drone technology in Australia.

It provides solutions for the drone technology industry, as well as being a commercially accredited training provider of the Drone Remote Pilot’s Licence for the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

Apart from being a member of MY-IoTA (Malaysia IoT Association) which is the largest IoT ecosystem of members in Malaysia, KCS also partnered with the world’s first Centre of Drone Excellence (CoDE) which covers the best practices in the drone industry. — DayakDaily