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Drones also known as Remotely piloted aircraft systems have become increasingly popular and is definitely the future of aviation. All the key sectors such as agriculture, contraction, logistics, and marine have slowly begun to adopt drone technology and hence it has grown exponentially. This rapid growth paves way for higher demands for Drone pilots. And thereby to be a drone pilot, an RPC is a must. A qualified RPC holder has gone through a chain of training programs and tests and is now equipped to become a drone pilot. Drone piloting skills have transformed the outlook of various sectors. Drone pilots required in the utility sector are responsible for inspecting power lines, telephone towers wind turbines, and those in mining sectors measure stockpiles of minerals. Many such tasks have been made time efficient and cost-efficient with the use of drones. In the coming times, advancements in artificial intelligence will fascinatingly appeal and boost its efficiency and effectiveness.

An important part of becoming a drone pilot is your proficiency, skills, knowledge, and correct attitude. Therefore, acquiring an RPC comes with an elaborate training and testing process. A drone pilot should efficiently be able to handle operations with varying intensities of complexities. A professional drone pilot should be a visionary when it comes to tackling on-spot emergencies and hence RPC training plays an important role in shaping this within drone aviators. 

Drone - Remote Pilot Certificate (RPC) - Why do I need it?

A Drone pilot license Is required in order to carry out drone operations safely and legally. This has been mandated as per DGCA regulations that Drones or remotely piloted aircraft should only be operated by individuals that hold an RPC.

A remote pilot certificate is important because this license can only be issued by an authorized institution after proper training and evaluation of an individual's specialization for operating a particular class or classes of drones. This license is valid for 10 years and can be renewed with an application. This license is issued by DCGA only after receiving and carefully evaluating the certificate of training and report of skill sets by an authorized institution. The pilot should be well versed with the basic tenets of flying: weather, wind speed, avionics and so on. 


RPC training advantages and skill sets acquired by a drone pilot:


Navigation: Navigation skills are used by drone pilots in order to operate their drones and complete the given task.  Navigation skills such as mapping and map reading, interpreting geographical information and the knowledge of GPS tracking to navigate locations. Navigation is extremely important for timely completion of tasks and navigating drones to the correct location. This set of training is given during RPC training and the pilots are taught extensively the use of Navigation knowledge for successful completion of their given tasks.


Communication: Communication more evidently clear communication skills are an important factor as the pilots should be able to convey to their teammates and clients correctly. Communication is also important in relaying valuable information about the flight course of the drone and coordinating during any emergency or obstacle encounter. They should also be good at communicating the quality of footages to their client. Thereby the whole procedure of an RPC is extremely important, it shapes a drone pilot in conducting various commercial and government operations.


Problem-solving: The skill of solving problems helps drone pilots to identify issues and coping mechanism to overcome them. Technical issues with the drone include malfunctioning component and it’s repair methods, identifying difficulties with the flights plan such as weather forecast and new plans to overcome any changes.


Highlighting the detail : while operating a drone, it’s important to pay attention to the information displayed on the drone’s screen and manually handling it which aids in capturing high quality images and videos by the pilot. The pilot must be skilled to read and interpret the information on the drone’s screen and navigate accordingly.


Skills and knowledge of regulations: Part of being a drone pilot is being thorough with the regulations that apply to your work. This includes knowing which type of drones you can operate, what type of related jobs you can do and the type of information that you can collect for your benefit. Regulations vary by state, country and industry, so it’s important for drone pilots to update themselves with the newer version of their task and it’s regulation.


Responsibility and Data Collection of Drone Pilots: During a drone operation, any data acquired, is strictly the responsibility of the drone pilot for its safekeeping and disposal. This requires one to follow complete protocol and access to important hardware. The pilot should also be very careful handling such data and it should not be released to any third parties without consent of the person relating to the Data collected. During the RPC drone pilots are required to have extensive knowledge of their operational airspace. They are taught on how to operate and control their drones whilst maintaining a track of its location too. This requires eye for every detail and quick analytical skills which a drone pilot develops during RPC training.


Once the training is completed, the student is ready to undergo a check flight conducted by a DEF (designated flight examiner), where they shall be tested in 3-4 test sets: knowledge of rules and regulations, airmanship and flight ability, operational testing. 

Once they have passed this test, the student qualifies to apply for a Remote Pilot certificate (RPC) and pursue his/her career in the field of drone aviation.