A licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor from Halifax is opening up the Canadian Institute for Drone Technology in Charlottetown.
Greg Davis is president and founder of DronEye, a Transport Canada compliant school under the direction of Transport Canada.
Davis says they’ll be the first on the Island to market commercial drone training for fire, police and first responders as well as agriculture, engineering, construction and government entities in the coming months.
Online training programs as well as on site three-day courses will be offered for companies opening up a Transport Canada-approved drone flight department.
In 2018, Davis said they’ll be opening a drone flight training school as a supplement to the Transport Canada compliant ground school program for drone pilots.
“These things are flying lawnmowers. I’m all about safety. Our team is all about safety, and I have a genuine concern, not only for the public, but because there are so many yahoos out there who are not licensed.”
Their current aerial drone assets include the Phantom 4Pro, economical for the small- to medium-sized company to hire for professional quality 4K HD pictures and videos. The DJI Inspire Pro 2 drone series was added for its climate capability.
Davis says he has one of two licenses on the Island by Transport Canada for a commercial drone company.
Davis said training will also be offered to the public, especially parents who can simply go to the nearest Best Buy and purchase one for their children.
“These things are flying lawnmowers. I’m all about safety. Our team is all about safety, and I have a genuine concern, not only for the public, but because there are so many yahoos out there who are not licensed,’’ Davis said.
The team he talks about includes a former military operations commander from CFB Trenton, a military jet pilot who has flown Snowbirds, an electrical engineer and an RCMP officer.
He says he personally has observed drones in the air being operated by inexperienced pilots that, under the right circumstances could block the path of an incoming jet into Charlottetown.
“Something is going to happen. Someone is going to take down a commercial plane . . . the concern is people flying them that don’t know what they’re doing.’’
That’s one of the big reasons they’ve formed the Canadian Institute for Drone Technology – to teach.
“That’s really where the focus is, the people getting into the industry. We will be offering what is called a beyond visual line of sight course. We’ve got (about) 1,400 hours of actual teaching time. We really do consider ourselves experts.
Davis said their courses will be one-fifth the price that’s being charged in the market now. The courses won’t result in certification, but it will make better pilots.
“We won’t make any money off it, but we want to do it from a safety perspective.’’