The sky is the limit for lecturers at Bristol’s University of West England (UWE) after the UK’s leading drone training experts ran a flying course at its Frenchay Campus.

RUSTA recently taught 16 members of staff from three out of four of the UWE’s faculties. The participants came from departments as diverse as Engineering Design & Mathematics, Film & Journalism and Geographic & Environmental Management, where they learnt pre-flight processes and procedures, flight manoeuvres and emergency procedures.

The course was facilitated by Dr Mark Palmer, senior lecturer at UWE, as he had already obtained his Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO) with RUSTA in 2016.

Sion Roberts, managing director of RUSTA, said: “Although we have held many courses in Bristol over the past four years, we’ve never held one solely on the campus and solely for university staff.”

“The facilities for classroom instruction were second to none and it was great to engage on such a level with a respected academic institute in the South West of England.”

Those trained on the course will now be included in the UWE operations manual which is a prerequisite for obtaining a PfCO from the Civil Aviation Authority. The operations manual is also unique as it will be compartmentalised to accommodate the different faculties and their aircraft, whilst standardising the UWE procedures.

Paul Satchell, who attended the course, said: “It has given me the knowledge and airmanship to make the correct decisions whilst planning for safe and legal UAV operations. The Remote Pilots Theory course content and delivery was first-rate, and the learning resources were really well structured. This will help form the foundation of my flying career.”

“The instructor was professional and fun. He was not just an experienced military aviator but also an excellent educator that has made me feel part of an exciting and developing industry.”

Dr Mark Palmer added: “I very much welcomed the innovative and positive approach taken by the university in bringing in RUSTA to provide drone training on this scale.”

Established in 2014, RUSTA were one of the original drone and UAV academies in the UK, training operators to be able to use their drones for commercial purposes.

All instructors have a Royal Air Force or Army Air Corps background, with thousands of hours flying experience on both manned and unmanned platforms. No UAV training academy in the UK has more experience and is better qualified in training operators.

For more information on RUSTA and its training courses, visit www.rustauas.com or call 0800 774 7347.