By Cole Parkinson
A new drone training program for farmers is making it’s way to the M.D. of Taber.
LandView Drones made a request to M.D. council about potentially hosting their Air Drone School in Taber and the councillors had a chance to discuss the benefits to the program during their regular meeting on Oct. 10.
The group was looking for a sponsor for the event which they hope to run in the coming months in Taber.
“We had a gentleman contact us who is in the process of travelling around the area conducting training courses to get certification by Transport Canada to operate drones. What’s interesting is there are many retailers who are getting out of the business of selling these items because they require licensing. So this course was recently held in St. Paul and he would like to conduct the course here in early November. The registration cost is $590 per attendee, paid by the attendee and he is looking for municipal participation to assist in keeping the cost as low as possible for the room, advertising and lunch. A number of our agriculture producers are operating these now and we feel there would be some advantage in holding this course here, as well as providing it to local citizens,” said Derrick Krizsan, CAO for the M.D. of Taber.
The first part of the course is all in class that will teach those in attendance about techniques to fly drones likes principles of flight, flight manoeuvres and flight mission planning among other things.
To end day one there will be an Industry Canada radio-telephony exam that will be covered with the cost.
Day two will kick off with more in class training in the morning but in the afternoon the attendees will be out flying drones at a set location that the M.D. still has to set.
Discussion did come about potential locations that would work when the school comes in mid November.
“This would also include a flying site that would be appropriate for them to conduct their flight training as well. We have a few spots that would work, we could do it at Vauxhall Airport,” said Krizsan.
The M.D. says that many farmers are looking to make the switch to drones and unmanned systems for their agricultural operations, and this type of program would be beneficial for not only the farmers but the community as a whole.
“I think it goes beyond that also, it goes to show some responsibility to the current, the Kinniburgh’s and the aerial guys that are out there because those are the ones who have concerns. Perhaps this will help explain the importance of where you fly these drones because the last thing we want is a plane smacking one of them,” said Brian Brewin, reeve for the M.D. of Taber.
A motion was passed to provide sponsorship for the event which included lunch for both days and a class room to hold the instructional periods.
November 20-21 are the scheduled dates at the Taber Legion and LandView have noted that they have never cancelled a program no matter the weather or the registration.