Flight training company, The Great Circle, based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and Heathrow, has been granted official National Qualified Entity status by the CAA, which enables it to offer Commercial UAS training courses for those who have an interest in setting up a business using UAVs for aerial photography, filming, surveying, 3D modelling, etc.

In the first development of its kind in the UK, specialist company The Great Circle has partnered with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) to offer the training for people interested in setting up businesses with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or Drones) such as aerial photography, videography, surveying & 3D modelling.

On successful completion of a course, candidates will be awarded the UACE qualification (Unmanned Aerial Certificate of Expertise) and a recommendation will be made to the Civil Aviation Authority for them to be granted a Commercial Aerial Work Permit.

The new courses on offer are:

UAV Commercial Ground School

UAV Design & Build

UAS Flight Training

Professor Paul Egglestone, Director of the Civic Drone Centre at UCLan explains: “The Civic Drone Centre at UCLan was established to develop and test new drone technology. We started two years ago connecting engineers and software developers to operators and end users.

“Since then we’ve developed new technology, been nominated for Design of the Year 2014, inputted into international policy on use of drones for humanitarian operations and in conflict zones, set up the ‘dronehack.org’ network – the Centre just keeps growing.

“The launch of this new series of operator training courses was always part of our plan. We want to see businesses using this technology – for journalism, film making, surveying, data-capture – you name it – and we want operators to be able to fly safely and legally.

“We loved the fact that folks at The Great Circle are commercial pilots themselves. It challenges the notion that pilots and drone operators don’t always see eye to eye. It’s a big sky and we need to share it. Education and training ensures we can do it safely and legally.”

Stephanie Abbott, Operations Manager at The Great Circle explains: “Utilising our combined skill sets from the manned aviator world and the engineering might of the University of Central Lancashire’s new Aerospace Department, we believe that our new courses are unrivalled, represent excellent value and provide a solid foundation on which to set up a new and exciting aviation business.

“Our staff have worked extremely hard to design a course and qualification that is unmatched in industry. We have managed to achieve this by bringing together some brilliant minds! Our team have a wealth of operational flying experience in civilian and military environments and are actively involved in developing cutting edge technologies in aviation.”

The courses will commence in September 2015 at Harrogate in North Yorkshire, Heathrow in London, and the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

For more information visit www.uace.uk

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