The unmanned aviation industry is flourishing and RMIT will deliver drone pilot training as part of a degree.
RMIT University, in collaboration with Flight Data Systems, is
delivering RePL as part of a degree. The course is also the
first in an Australian university to be delivered by industry.
Senior Lecturer at RMIT’s Aerospace Engineering & Aviation, Dr
Graham Wild, said that the global Unmanned (UAV) market is predicted to reach
$11.2 billion by 2020, and that Australia is well placed to be a key player.
Dr Wild said, “This is a new industry that is making aviation available
to the masses as a service industry.”
“It is employing thousands of people in the country, and this is
growing; the direct benefits in farming and search and rescue help people and
society daily,“ he added.
RMIT is expecting high demand for the new course. It is being offered as
a university wide elective, to allow all RMIT students to be part of the
unmanned aviation industry.
This class will be an elective for these courses: Bachelor of
Applied Science – Aviation and Bachelor of Engineering – Aerospace.
Students who take this elective will be given an opportunity to earn a micro
qualification as part of their degree, which will give them new opportunities
in the growing unmanned aviation industry.
The elective will give students the chance to acquire a RePL for the
small class of multi-rotor aircraft, 2 to 25 kg, with a restriction of up to
Dr Wild said that the micro qualification was the key to more graduate
job outcomes. More opportunities for students will open at companies or
organisations that hold a Remote Operators Certificate. It would be possible
for them to get a job where they are paid to fly these aircraft for commercial
“The majority of these companies are small businesses so walking in with
a micro qualification means you will not cost the company A$3,500 in training
costs. You can go out the day you start and fly, to earn rather than cost
money,” he said.
Dr Wild added, “Unmanned aviation goes beyond aviation and aerospace,
and is applicable in civil/structural/environmental engineering, in geospatial
sciences, even construction management and architecture utilise unmanned aerial
“It’s essential that our graduates keep up with this rapidly-growing industry,”
Some of the typical uses for drones, in the size category are:
Carrying large cameras used in film and TV
Carrying large cameras with platforms for
hyperspectral imaging, which are used on farms
In 2019, a future postgraduate offering that will give students more
flexibility because they will also utilise fixed wing aircraft in the excluded
sub 2 kg category.
RMIT is a national leader in Aerospace Engineering, ranked fifth
by the Excellence in Research Australia as world leading, and the highest
in the country.