In China, a greater demand for pilots to fly drones has led to the establishment of new aviation schools in the country. According to estimates, the various industries of the country will require the use of over 10,000 drone pilots this year.
At the present time, less than 1,000 people in China are licensed to fly commercial drones. New flying schools are expected to increase this number by a large margin. Drone pilots in China typically earn around $780 per month.
Drone student Xu Honggang says, “I want to build my own company with drone services. I like to work for myself, this is a new and popular line of work.”
Currently, there are 42 drone schools in china. Many offer a two-week long intensive course that is designed to get newbies flying drones as soon as possible. Enrollment costs around $1,300, and students are taught everything from drone insurance, regulations and the process of building and fixing drones.
Before students actually get to fly the drones, they must spend more than 20 hours on drone flight simulators. Teacher Zeng Jun explains, “If we practice with the real drone, we will have a huge loss. If we practice with the simulator, students can have a solid foundation and improve their confidence.”
China regulations say that anyone who flies an aircraft that weighs more than seven kilograms or is more than 120 meters in length must have a flying license.
Drone and technology expert Wu Haining says, “We need pilots with a license, because safety is the biggest concern in the operation of drones. Although we have insurance, we still need strict regulations for studying and training to avoid any incident.”
Many of the drone pilots in China will be working in the agricultural industry. Farmers see drones as a way of reducing costs.
Representative of the Beijing TT Aviation Technology Company Yang Yi says, “China has a huge area of farmland, and there is a high demand for the drones in agricultural use such as plant protection and pesticide spraying.”
China is currently the leading country when it comes to producing and exporting drones. A company known as DJI is responsible for selling 70% of the commercial drones.
New models of drones are often equipped with GPS and tracking technology that should assist companies in conducting business. Still, these advanced drone technologies are of no use unless the country has enough pilots to fly the drones.