Drone Training Courses
Have you ever wondered what drone flight courses entail? It may soon be mandatory to enlist on a course for heavier drone so we give you the lowdown on what courses are available, how much they cost and what you stand to learn.
Despite recent changes in UK law, drones are growing in popularity across the UK and their usage looks set to triple in the next 3 years alone. Although the budget market is booming, the drones with higher specs are also a growing industry thanks to improved technology and tumbling prices.
This growth along with the need to register drones with the Civil Aviation Authority soon to come in to force (from November 2019) means that even casual consumers are now looking at some form of drone training. Those who are using drones commercially are also a key demographic who are looking to enrol on such training courses.
With thousands of people searching for drone training each month, we thought it might be a good idea to provide you with a resource showing you why drone training is a good idea as well as some of the best places to go for it.
Drone Training – Why Bother?
You might think that you already know how to fly a drone perfectly well. You may have mastered the lingo and perfected your photography – but there is more to drone training than just lingo on pointing and clicking.
The main reason for obtaining some form of drone training is for legislative reasons. In most cases this will be because you want/need to obtain a Civil Aviation Authority approved PfCO (Permission for Commercial Operation). This is actually required if you are a company, charity or individual looking to use a drone for commercial reasons.
Videographers and photographers will fit in to this category and so if you are asking the question as to whether you need a commercial license – well the answer is probably yes.
If you are undertaking any kind of drone training course in the UK then you do want to make sure it includes a PfCO rather than a non-statutory certificate that means very little.
Once you have your PfCO it will allow you to fly commercially for the following 12 months upon which time you will need to be retested and renew your licence. It is important to note that you do have to be over the age of 18 to be eligible for a PfCO.
How Much Does Drone Training Cost?
Costs of training will vary from provider to provider and will also vary based on location. Typically, drone training costs anywhere from £800 to £1,200 if it is an accredited PfCO course and usually this will be over the course of two days.
There are theoretical and practical elements to the course including a theory exam and a flight test.
Where Can I Train To Fly Drones?
There are plenty of places where you can learn to fly a drone commercially and we have listed a few of our favourites here. We have no affiliation with these companies whatsoever so please conduct your own research before signing up to anything and do ask about how the license will work with the new CAA registration coming in to force in November 2019.
The Aerial Academy – £1140 inc VAT for 2 days
The Aerial Academy are one of the UK’s leading drone training providers and have offices in Norwich, Edinburgh, Swansea and Manchester. They offer a full 2 day course that includes the PfCO qualification (subject to you passing), insurance on the days of training and support following the training – they even throw in some free lunch and drinks.
Heliguy – £1079 inc VAT for 3 days
The Heliguy training is an excellent offering that offers three days of comprehensive training at a very reasonable rate. You can spread the payment over a payment plan if it helps with cashflow and if you need resits in any of your tests they are free of charge.
The best part about the Heliguy course is that there are absolutely no hidden costs which makes it one of the best value for money courses in the UK.
UAV-Air – £1200 inc VAT for 3 days
Our final selection is UAV Air who offer a range of courses. Their Fast Track Drone Course is £999 + VAT (which makes it the most expensive of our selection) but is actually very comprehensive and leads to a PfCO over the 3 days of learning and testing.
As part of their training they also provide you with a level 3/4 qualification known as ProQual Level 3 & 4 Accreditation in the Remote Piloting of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. There are some small admin fees for this but it is well worth it if you want to set yourself apart from your competitors.