Rise in Women Enrolling on Drone Training Courses

Abbie-Jaye Wilson

RUSTA, the drone flying school, has noticed an upsurge in women across the UK registering on its drone courses in the last 12 months.

Sion Roberts, MD of RUSTA, which offers Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved National Qualified Entity (NQE) training courses, said: “As one of the longest-running NQE academies in the UK, the last three and a half years have given us a wealth of data that we’ve used to examine the demographic of operators. What we discovered, is that male operators have vastly outnumbered their female counterparts. However, this domination may be coming to an end.

“Over the last twelve months more women have been attending our five-star courses, but even more encouragingly, they have been outperforming their male peers.”

Recent graduate Gemma Alcock, who was the first woman to pass all of the programme’s exams with a 100% rating to obtain the UAV academies’ ‘Gold Wings’, has founded and manages her own UAV company, SkyBound Rescuer.

As well as running the research and consultancy organisation for drones in emergency response, Gemma has been appointed as the Lowland Rescue’s National Technical Development Lead for Air Operations, specifically to ensure the charity becomes renowned as pioneers in drone research. She has also been named InterDrone’s ‘Woman to Watch in UAS 2018’ and a finalist in the Dorset Venus Awards’ ‘Inspirational Woman’ category.

Another course graduate, Abbie-Jaye Wilson, at creative communications agency, Pic PR, said: “When I took the course back in 2016, I was the only woman in a group of eight. It’s great to see more women enrolling on RUSTA’s training courses to gain the skills and necessary flying requirements to pilot drones safely and effectively.

Sion concluded: “It’s great to see a rise in women taking part in our courses and excelling in their UAV-related careers. Alexandra Kilcoyne, for another example, is an Earth Observation Specialist for Natural England and uses the skills gained from our courses to aid her in trialling bird counts, measuring vegetation heights and thermal surveying.”

For more information on RUSTA and its training courses, visit www.rustauas.com.

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