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SA’s first certified drone pilots graduate

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UAV Industries has released the first set of certified drone pilots, allowing them to legally fly drones in the region and opening up a range of new jobs for them.

UAV Industries (UAVI), the Western Cape’s only drone pilot training centre, has released its first batch of 14 graduates. These are the first certified trained pilots who are authorised to fly drones in the region. This spells the commencement of new jobs in the country for a brand new industry, with just four training schools currently in South Africa.

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UAV Industries Chief Instructor, Greg Donaldson, explains, “People think that drones are just good for Cape Town’s booming film industry, but there are a wide diversity of industries that will need, and employ, certified drone pilots – agriculture, infrastructure, and utilities, for example. Anything that manned aviation does today that doesn’t involve the transportation of passengers will be taken over by drones over the next five to ten years so there’s huge opportunities for the industry. Things are moving incredibly quickly.”

UAV Industries has assumed first mover advantage in the Cape. On the 23rd of December, the Civil Aviation provided UAV Industries with the certificate to train individuals as a Remote Training Organisation (RTO) under part 141 of the Civil Aviation regulations.

“Within the first week of January we had a lot of interest from potential drone pilots and we’ve been working with mainly experienced model aeroplane flyers that which to convert into legal drone pilots. In the first 8 weeks we’ve had over 50 people book through our courses and our first “recruits” already certified and ready to earn,” adds Donaldson.

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To fly a drone legally the operator needs three items of paperwork: the drone, pilot and company all need to be licenced.

“What we’re offering through our training school is the ability to licence the pilot and to get the equivalent in manned aviation of a commercial pilot’s licence. There is a pre-on site program and then there’s two weeks full time on site between the ground school and flight school, totalling three to four weeks in total.”

“There is a lot of detail and requirements that are needed for people to understand the airspace that one’s operating. We need this time to shape expert flyers into commercial flyers. It’s not the ability so much to fly a drone, but it’s that concept of safe flying – all the risk assessments that go around a mission or a flight, and understanding how to integrate manned and unmanned aviation. Crucial in our course is airmanship. You can be the best radio control aircraft flyer, but you’ll fail our course if you don’t have situational awareness of, not just the drone, but the other users of the airspace around you – people on the ground, buildings, and property. For the final pass to get your licence, we bring a Civil Aviation designated examiner out from Johannesburg who tests out every single student to Civil Aviation standards and we will not recommend a student to that test unless they meet our standards – we haven’t had one student fail so far. It’s a very good measure. The designated examiner has been very complimentary of the standard which we train our students, specifically airmanship safety.”

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As part of the course, UAV Industries facilitates the entire process with Civil Aviation to get their “red book” – the pilots licence, leaving the pilot to ensure they have a legal Remote Operating Company (ROC) and the drone is registered.

Being a drone pilot is a “future-proof job”. A large function of how much the pilot can expect to earn per day depends on the equipment with drones varying in size from the size of a smart phone to a motor car.

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Welcome to world of 2099

The world of 2099 will be unrecognisable from the world of today, but it can be predicted, says one visionary. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK met him in Singapore.

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Futuristic structures tower over the landscape. Giant, alien-looking trees light up with dazzling colours amid the hundreds of plant species that grow up their trunks. Cosmetic stores sell their wares via public touch-screens, with products delivered instantly in drawers below the screens.

This is not a vision of the future. It is a sample of Singapore today. But it is also an inkling of the world we may all experience in the future.

Singapore was the venue, last week, of the World Cities Summit, where engineers, politicians, investors and visionaries rubbed shoulders as they talked about the strategies and policies that would enhance urban living in the future.

As part of the Summit, global payment technologies leader Mastercard hosted a small media briefing by one of Singapore’s leading thinkers about the future, Dr Damian Tan, managing director of Vickers Venture Partners. The company’s slogan “We invest in the extraordinary,” offers a small clue to Tan’s perspective.

“We look as far forward as 2099 because, as a venture capital firm, we invest in the long term,” he tells a group of journalists from Africa and the Middle East. “Companies explode in growth because there is value in the future. If there is no growth, they won’t explode.”

The big question that the Smart Cities Summit and Mastercard are trying to help answer is, what will cities look like in the year 2099? Tan can’t give an exact answer, but he offers a framework that helps one approach the question.

“If you want to look at 81 years into the future, and understand the change that will come, you need to double that amount and look into the past. That takes us to 1856. The difference between then and now is the difference you can expect between now and 2099.”

Click here or on the page link below to read on: Page 2: Soldiers and Health in 2099.

  •    Arthur Goldstuck is founder of World Wide Worx and editor-in-chief of Gadget.co.za. Follow him on Twitter on @art2gee and on YouTube

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Street art goes electric

Kaspersky Lab and British street artist D*Face have unveiled the first-ever “art helmet” design at the Formula E finale for electric cars in New York.

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The ‘Save The World’ helmets will be raced by DS Virgin Racing’s drivers, Sam Bird and Alex Lynn, as they traverse the New York street circuit during the final races of the Formula E season.

The announcement signals the first art helmet by a Formula E team, continuing the heritage of art in motorsport and the cybersecurity brand’s commitment to contemporary art, creativity and innovation. D*Face took inspiration from Kaspersky Lab’s tagline, “A Company To Save The World”, and hopes that his colourful work will inspire people to take positive action.

D*Face will announce his first-ever art car design with a custom-made livery for the DS Virgin Racing Team. Its design will be released at the “Art Goes Green” event after Saturday’s race. The helmets and art car are the latest installations in the “Save the World” collection, following a major permanent public mural that was installed in Brooklyn, New York, in May.

D*Face, whose real name is Dean Stockton, said: “It is exciting to work with Kaspersky Lab on this project and create art with a real message of hope for a better future. After all, this is our world and we need to look after it. It will take every one of us to make a real lasting, impactful change. I love the mentality of the DS Virgin Racing Team and that of Formula E by showcasing sport in a way that doesn’t harm the environment, but is still just as exhilarating and fun.

“It is time for us all to stand together and make a change… be that stopping data steals, climate change, plastic waste or using damaging fuels. I want everyone to make a pledge to do one thing that will help make a change.”

As a sponsor of DS Virgin Racing Team, Kaspersky Lab is responsible for protecting the team’s devices against cyber threats. The company sees the technical environment in the global sport of Formula E as the next frontier in furthering its research and development of new technologies to keep vehicles secure in the digital world.

Sylvain Filippi, Managing Director at DS Virgin Racing, said: “The whole team fully supports this great initiative and our thanks got to Kaspersky and D*Face for their collaboration. It’s an honour to have such an innovative artist bring his talents to bear in our team ahead of the season-finale; the car, drivers’ crash helmets and mural all look amazing.”

Aldo Fucelli Pessot del Bo, Head of Global Partnerships and Sponsorships at Kaspersky Lab added: “There is a need for innovation on a global scale, both in contemporary art and in the fast-growing sport of Formula E. Now, for the first time ever, Kaspersky Lab is proudly bringing together the two sectors in an effort to Save the World and unleash creativity, encourage freedom of expression and further innovation.”

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