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  • Abhinav Rao Varrey

6 Reasons why IID drone programs are becoming the most sought program in the Drone Industry

Updated: Oct 7



By now you must have heard about the DGCA’s drone operator program. It is a UAS community initiative designed to identify industry best practices, set an expected code of conduct, and professionalize the drone pilot network. Spearheaded by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and developed in concert with UAS industry leaders, IID drone training program provides a standardized way to evaluate competency of both individual remote pilots and UAS service providers. As a drone training provider and early adopter partner in this program, Indian Institute of Drones is acknowledged by DGCA on a letter. Indian Institute of Drones in partnership with Pioneer Flying Academy (An FTO) has been exempted for providing drone pilot training in the small category using Johnnette JR5 drone. Indian Institute of Drones has also been involved in many important conversations with our clients about how the drone training program might benefit their organization. From these conversations, we have identified six reasons why many enterprises are buying into the IID drone program.


1. It’s a differentiator

With thousands of certified remote pilots across the country many of whom claim to be experts in everything unmanned, it can be very difficult to identify the truly qualified and experienced pilots. A number of our clients utilize contract pilots, yet the managers who hire them are unsure how to accurately vet their qualifications for the job. With our drone pilot training programs enterprise managers can quickly and effectively cut through the sea of remote pilots to identify the best of the best.


2. Provides a true industry standard

The trusted drone programs have been created to meet the consensus standards put forward by the DGCA CAR. All our programs go through rigorous assessment by industry experts. As a training provider, IID was evaluated within the following categories:

  • Management systems

  • Operational procedure

  • Training program

  • Maintenance and inspection

  • Safety and management systems


This third party vetting, and the level of detail it encompasses, ensures that the organization is truly operating at the highest level of safety and compliance.


3. Filling in the “missing pieces”

In the drone training program remote pilots are trained and quizzed on their understanding of the missing pieces of practical flying which are often overlooked. Every trainer at IID training provider takes a different approach to covering this content. This course covers the practical real world understanding application of:

  • Airspace

  • Weather Assessment

  • Site Assessment

  • Risk Assessment

  • Management

  • Equipment Care and Maintenance

  • Battery Care and Safety

  • Utilizing Checklists

  • Visual Observer and Crew Best Practices

  • Operational safety

  • Flight Safety Principles and Performances

  • Air Law


4. Provides a Vetted Flight Assessment

Many enterprise drone programs already have an internal training program for their pilots. Clients continually ask if we can help them build a flight assessment to finalize this training. With our drone training programs, a very clear flight assessment has been created that ensures IID certified drone pilots are safe and competent operators. During the IID practical flight assessment process, pilots are first evaluated in a question answer session on their knowledge of regulations, environmental elements, navigation elements, emergency responses, and human factor elements. Remote pilots must then demonstrate to the assessor their ability to safely and effectively execute preflight planning, systems checks, a safety briefing , normal flight procedures, manual flight maneuvers, abnormal and emergency procedures, crew resource management, and operational compliance. The result is a comprehensive assessment of a remote pilot’s practical flight skill and operational practices.


5. Functional Area Breakout

During the development of IID, many people asked how this drone program would be relevant across so many different industries. The concern was addressed with the inclusion of Functional areas. Experts in each area were highly involved in the development of protocol standards for their respective vertical. Not only has this approach allowed for true experts in each functional area to identify their specific needs, it has also brought some interesting industry specific organizations into the drone program development team. Currently IID breaks out the following functioning areas:

  • Agriculture

  • Environmental services

  • Infrastructure and Utility Inspections

  • Petroleum, Oil and Gas Inspection

  • Public Safety Operations

  • Training Providers

  • Aerial Mapping * Surveillance

  • Disaster Management


Additional functional areas will be added to the above list as the drone program and the drone industry as a whole continues to mature.


6. Improves Internal Pilot Team Buy In

Many enterprise drone programs are selecting drone pilots from within their current employee base. However, processing these individuals through the required training and certification can at times drag on due to the fact that this is typically a collateral duty for these employees. In some organizations, drone program certification is being used as an incentive to motivate internal drone pilots to prioritize their drone responsibilities. There are some very interesting conversations taking place behind the scenes regarding drone program implementations within some of the nation’s largest industries. It is going to take some time, but IID drone program is well positioned to be adopted as the industry standard.

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