AirAsia just got a Certificate of Approval (COA) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) to conduct remote drone pilot training, becoming the first in Malaysia to do so. They have five courses currently available and they are all meant to help grow the eCommerce delivery industry.
Drones aren’t just used for sick aerial shots of the cityscape. They can also be used for deliveries and this is the industry AirAsia wants to tap into. Group chief executive officer of AirAsia Aviation Ltd Bo Lingam said the move to train drone pilots would drive drone delivery. AirAsia Aviation Ltd is a unit of AirAsia Group wants to drive a “revolution” and says “It’s a lucrative and incredibly fast-growing market. Globally, the industry has already taken off and is projected to reach USD 7.388 billion (~RM31 billion) by 2027”.
Anyone can sign up, but the training programme is aimed to upskill their current or previous employees and offer new job opportunities. With the loss of many aviation-related jobs due to COVID-19, I can see how this could be an entryway back into the company, albeit now being in eCommerce. Lingam says that no prior experience is needed, so everyone can learn to fly.
AirAsia Group chief safety officer Captain Ling Liong Tien says that the team has been working closely with the CAAM for months and is very excited to start the first class in the next few weeks. He mentioned, “The idea behind becoming an RPTO (Remote Pilot Training Organisation) is to support the industry by providing quality remote pilot training leveraging our strong aviation background and decades of expertise. The UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) has become an important element in many industries driving cost-effectiveness and numerous efficiencies.”
Why drone delivery?
Personally, I wasn’t quite sold on drone delivery when I first heard about it. When I learned more about it, I got more intrigued and am now interested in seeing how it will grow in Malaysia.
Lingam mentions that as they upscale, drones could potentially be used to support remote areas during natural disasters. Given the recent flood that affected Malaysia, I’m open to any technology that could help the situation. According to Forbes, drone deliveries cost 90% less than regular car-based services as well.
It’s already been happening in other countries, with Google being the first company in the US to complete drone delivery back in 2019. Even Singapore did their first drone delivery in 2020, so I think we should hurry up and get this thing soaring as soon as possible.
AirAsia’s remote pilot training classes will start on January 24th 2022 and you can register through the AirAsia Academy website.
Here are the approved training courses:
- RCOC-B (Remote Pilot Certificate of Competency – Basic) (5 days) here – RM6,000
- RCOC Module 1 (EVLOS) (Extended Visual Line of Sight) (2 days) here – RM2,400
- SMS (Safety Management System) (3 Days) here – RM3,600
- CRM (Crew Resource Management) (2 Days) here – RM2,400
- SORA (Specific Operations Risk Assessment) (2 Days) here – RM2,400