Drone training ensures standards are met for ag operation

15.09.18 04:41 PM

With the use of drones increasing as an important adjunct to farm management, more people are enrolling in an accredited course from which they will qualify to operate drones in a professional manner.

This article was first published in The Land on 17 November 2017, written by Stepehen Burns. Read the full article here.

An accredited course was recently conducted in Wagga Wagga and the students included agricultural science students on the point of graduating from Charles Sturt University and Australian Defence Force (ADF) Veterans from a local veterans network.

It was run by The Institute of Drone Technology and the qualification the students will receive is a CASA issued Remote Pilots Licence (RePL). 

Course facilitator, Peak Hill-based StevTech, director Tristan Steventon said this licence allows them to conduct commercial drone operations as part of StevTech which holds a Remote Operations Certificate.

“CASA issues accreditation that authorises StevTech to operate as a drone business, and once qualified, the students will be offered the opportunity for work with StevTech Pty Ltd in the emerging agricultural drone services market,” Mr Steventon said.

“From my perspective, as a former Army Officer I know that former military people represent an incredible source of human capital.

“They possess high levels of self discipline and fortitude and are used to producing accurate results efficiently.”

Mr Steventon said those with military experience know how to work within, and support a business vision and they can be trusted to act ethically and proactively to drive business efficiency.

Over the next few months StevTech will be delivering precision agricultural services primarily to cotton agronomists and cotton growers to allow them to quickly, accurately and precisely apply PIX and at the end of the season defoliants at a variable rate. 

“The students that are successful from this course will get further training in different type of drones, but most importantly, how to turn the data they collect into actionable proscription maps based on the agronomic advice of the agronomist being serviced,” Mr Steventon said.