ITE to be first public education institution to deliver drone courses regulated by CAAS, at subsidised rates

The Institute of Technical Education (ITE) will be offering subsidised drone courses to the public from next month, which will provide training and certification in drone flying.

These courses are eligible for SkillsFuture subsidies, and are regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

ITE will be delivering these courses as one of six unmanned aircraft training organisations (UATOs) certified by CAAS. Having received this certification on 12 January 2021, ITE is the first and only public education institution to be an approved UATO.  There are five other UATOs, which are private training providers. They are Garuda Robotics Pte Ltd, MIRS Innovate Pte Ltd, Avetics Global Pte Ltd, Apollo Global Academy Pte Ltd, and CWT Aerospace Services.

To be certified as a training organisation, ITE had to demonstrate to CAAS that it has adequate qualified drone pilot instructors, equipment and infrastructure to conduct flight training and assessments. ITE also has two lecturers who have been approved to serve as authorised flight examiners (AFE). They will administer tests on behalf of CAAS.

ITE aerospace avionics lecturer, Goh Leng Chuan, at the fully netted outdoor drone flying arena. PHOTO: ITE

Drone training facilities at ITE include an indoor drone simulator with a 180-degree curved projection screen and a fully netted outdoor drone flying area. These facilities are believed to be unique among the UATOs.

The indoor drone simulator. PHOTO: ITE

The duration of ITE’s courses ranges from seven hours over a day, to 28 hours over four days. With SkillsFuture subsidies, the course fees range from $67 to $654. Singaporeans aged 40 and above will receive further subsidised rates.

"Current course fees by private training organisations can be expensive. For instance, it may cost up to $4,999 for certain drone courses. In addition, drone courses provided by private UATOs are not supported by SkillsFuture subsidies and participants cannot use their SkillsFuture credits to offset the course fees. This is where ITE recognised the need to provide the public access to affordable and professional drone training," said Dr Lim See Yew, Senior Director of the School of Engineering at ITE College Central.

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