If you’re looking for some UAV training or need to expand your existing skills then there are a number of high quality unmanned aviation training providers who can provide you with courses to suit both your needs and your budget.
At the time of writing there is no such thing as a drone pilots licence in the UK but the CAA does demand that anyone operating UAV commercially need to be trained up to the required standard by a company that has been endorsed by the CAA as an NQE (National Qualified Entity) before they will issue you with a PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operation).
The number of training providers is gradually increasing. In 2014 there were only about three but now there are many more around the UK and the number is likely to increase each year to meet the growing demand.
Which training provider you choose will depend on several factors, not just price. You will also need to consider the training locations, cost of accommodation, travel etc.
Commerical UAV Training
Resource Group provide unmanned aviation training for anyone seeking a qualification in Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). They run courses leading to a Remote Pilot Qualification – small (RPQ-s) for anyone who is thinking of operating a drone weighing under 20 kilos professionally. With an RPQ-s you can apply for a Permission for Aerial Work from the CAA.
RUSTA (Rheinmettall Unmanned Systems Training Academy) are another NQE that can train you up to the required standard so that you can apply for a PFAW (Permission for Aerial Work) from the CAA.
Aerial Motion Pictures are another NQE that provide sUAS training. Their packages include discounts on the cost of new quadcopters so if you haven’t already bought one then this might an option for you.
The Great Circle are a name you may be familiar with if you’ve done any flight training for the PPL. They now offer UAV training too and their qualification is called the UACE (Unmanned Aviator Certificate of Expertise).
UAVAir offer ab initio, integrated, modular, and abbreviated courses, so there’s something for any existing skill level there. Their Remote Pilot qualification is called the UAQ (Unmanned Aircraft Qualification) and they offer training at about ten locations around the UK.
Whispercam was found by two current Airline Captains. They offer courses in High Wycombe and St Andrews. Check their website for more details.
Unmanned Experts are an independent team of highly motivated UAS & UAV experts with over 25,000 flying hours on UAS operations and programs. The provide comprehensive training in all aspects of UAS operations. You can learn online using comprehensive e-learning courses that contain videos and examples from the military use of drones.
Introduction, Supplemental, and Specialised Drone Training
Even if you’ve been through one of the above courses and have been issued with a PfCO from the CAA you should consider additional training as your career progresses in order to keep up with new technological advances and to expand your skillset.
As the Drone Age expands it will probably those with specialist skills in various payload types, software, and multirotors or fixed wing aircraft who will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that emerge in the UAV job market.
Learn online at your own pace
Udemy provide online courses on a wide variety of subjects. Some are related directly to drones and aerial photography while in other sections there are courses about bookkeeping, accountancy, and running your own business.
Simply click the banner then type in a search term in the search box.
For example, search for: drone, uav, phantom, starting a business, bookkeeping, etc:
There’s probably something in there of use to you if you’re thinking of starting your own aerial photography or any other kind of drone related business.
Here’s a list of current course specifically designed for UAV training and to help you to learn aerial photography, videography, and surveying.
- Start a drone business – Aerial Photography and Mapping
- UAV Drones: Precision Agriculture
- UAV Drones: Introduction to 3D mapping
- Drone Masterclass: Your Complete Guide to DJI Drones
- Drones: Learn Aerial Photography and Videography Basics
- Phantom Flightschool – flight training, DJI Go & more!
I’d be interested to know what you thing of these training providers and online courses so let me know by posting a comment if you have any feedback you would like to share.