Drone training schools in Africa
We have been getting a lot of enquiries from readers who wish to know where they can get training for various occupations in the drone space. So we have listed some of those schools below; we know the list is not exhaustive; and we will keep adding to it as and when we get more input from training schools across the continent and what they can offer.
If you operate a drone training school and it is not on this list, let us know so we can update.
African Drone and Data Academy (ADDA)
Of course, we are assuming that by now, everybody knows about the drone technology Mecca of Africa – The Africa Drone and Data Academy in Lilongwe, Malawi.
A UNICEF-sponsored academy operated by Virginia Tech University in partnership with the Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), ADDA provides technology education for post-undergraduate African students in the physics of drone flight, communications, mechatronics, autonomy, data analysis, GIS and entrepreneurship.
With Africa’s start-up industry growing rapidly, the addition of thousands of new technology and drone-related jobs to the global economy presents a unique growth opportunity for African youth. The academy will prepare young Africans with the skills that will be needed to join the new technology workforce, and contribute to their communities’ economic and social development.
The academy is open to all African citizens aged between eighteen and 35 and offers courses like
- Certificate Of Drone and Data Technology Level 1 (CDDT 1)
- Certificate Of Drone and Data Technology Level 2 (CDDT 2)
- Earth Observation Technologies in Agriculture (ETAg)
- Remotely Piloted Aircraft Technology (RPAT)
- Data Visualisation and Cartography (DVAC)
- Malawi Remote Pilot License (RPL)
Ntsu Drone Training
The training wing of drone services company Ntsu Aviation, Ntsu Drone Training offers Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Pilot License training (RPL), Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) and RPAS Maintenance Technician training (RMT).
They are located in Johannesburg, and can be contacted here.
Inspire Africa Group
Inspire Africa has made its name in STEM education – deploying drone and robotics-based coding tools to open young minds to career opportunities in coding and robotics technology.
“We develop core 21st Century skills and career opportunities through, blended educational and technological programmes for students and educators,” the company says.
“Our offerings are both online and offline programmes, and curricula that cover 4th Industrial Revolutionary (4iR) technologies such as Coding for operation, 3D Printing, Robotics, Drones, Virtual Reality (VR), and Internet of Things (IoT).”
Their drone courses comprise
- Inspire Drone Aptitude Course
- Inspire Drone Coding Online
- Inspire Drone Coding Online (Drone included)
- Inspire Drone Coding Online Advanced
- Inspire Drone Competency Course
- Inspire Drone Competency Practical
- Agricultural Drone Competency Course
Working out of Cape Town and Johannesburg, UAV Industries has the honour of being one of the first drone training schools in South Africa. It offers drone courses like the RPL licence, BVLOS licence; and a drone pilot instructor’s licence.
Below is what the company has to say for itself:
UAV Industries has a simple vision: “To become the standard for safe and legal drone operations in Africa”. UAV Industries’ founders and staff have vast experience in both aviation and technology. In bringing these two spheres together, we are at the forefront of creating a comprehensive digital platform to allow for the seamless integration of:
- Drone training in three major centres in South Africa: Grasslands Centurion, Our Main Office Alberton (RMAC) and Cape Town
- Flight planning
- Safe, legal and insured flights
- Drone management
- Flight data analysis and reporting
Mzansi Aerospace Technologies
Offering drone pilot training courses, Mzansi Aerospace Technologies is an unmanned aviation technology start-up committed to growing this fledgling industry amongst some of the young people that are seeking to build their careers in this industry.
The company is collaborating with some accredited training organisations (ATO’s) to grow the next generation of drone pilots and technicians in sectors like agriculture, security, mining, maritime, infrastructure, law enforcement and smart cities.
We have come to realise that, unlike in manned aviation, the rapid adoption of drone technology in key economic sectors like mining, agriculture and construction has huge opportunities for efficiencies and lowering of operational costs,” the company says.
“This new technology has created a huge demand for drone pilots, technicians and data analysts.
“In response to this demand, Mzansi has set itself a target of training the next generation of drone workforce that will meet the demands of this growing industry.
“We plan to achieve this goal through a combination of conventional training methods in collaboration with accredited training organisations and through the use of simulators. Our goal is to lower the cost of drone pilot not to flood the drone job market but to reduce the number of illegal operators, who are threatening the viability of this industry.
Rectron Drone Academy
The youngest of drone trainings schools in South Africa, Rectron Drone Academy opened its doors to scholars from its location in Midrand, Johannesburg this February, starting with a cohort of five students, who will learn aspects of drone hardware and software, including Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), Maintenance Technician certification, Remote Pilot Licence and Beyond Visual Line of Sight certification.
While we will be the first to acknowledge the quality of drone training schools already in operation in South Africa, this one does feel different – because it has DJI – literally the biggest drone player in the world today – as an active partner.
Rectron SA are DJI’s local distributor in the southern African country and with their academy now officially launched, the hope is for operators to get the best insights on the range of innovative applications being developed for commercial and non-commercial use available, with the drone industry growing as rapidly as it is in the region.
Each course will take three to four months and will include theoretical elements as well as practical training. Rectron explained that its new academy will solve challenges with drone operation and sustainable drone use, as well as close the gap on skills shortage, limited applications for rural communities and regulatory red tapes.
Drone Safety and Legal
Partnered with the University of Pretoria, Drone Safety Legal (DSL) is a fully certified SACAA Authorised Training Organisation (ATO) providing professional and rewarding programmes for those looking to receive the Remote Pilot License (RPL).
The training wing of internationally acclaimed drone company Delta Drone International, DSL also offers Specialised RPL Courses covering major industries, including mining, agriculture and engineering.
“At DSL we are passionate about training and technology, and more importantly, about bringing these two together in real world applications.
“We are proud to offer practical, game-changing educational packages and courses, which will redefine the role of technology, particularly drones, in the future of both your learning and work.
“At DSL we look beyond just training to how we can help bring awareness of drone technology into existing industries in order to simplify systems, cut costs and increase productivity.
“Our aim is to make technology truly useful; helping you to secure not just additional skills, but also your future.”
Their catalogue of courses is as follows:
- DSL Direct
- DSL Direct RPL
- 1 Day only CRM for RPAS
- DSL BVLOS Rating
- UP Specialised
- Introduction to Drones and Sustainable Mining
- Introduction to Drone Inspections in Civil Engineering
- Introduction to Drones and Precision Agriculture
Starlight Aviation Group
The group offers RPL training and technology transfer, through course material and practical training.
“Our goal is to equip you with the highest level of skills and knowledge, in order to operate unmanned aircraft in a commercial capacity safely. You will complete your course with the assurance that you have received the finest training. In addition, your association with Starlite will make you extremely marketable.”
They are a drone training facility run by aviation experts from all sectors of the industry and offer professional drone license courses that will take clients from classroom to operations.
The company has offices in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, with another branch in Kenya about to open soon.
“At the inception of BVLOS Training, RPAS Training Academy was the first Aviation Training Organisation to offer the industry a two-week BVLOS course and thereafter received permission to shorten the course to a five-day process.
“We are also one of the few drone training organisations who offer an Aeroplane training category and have added VTOL BVLOS to the offerings list to advance our clients’ career paths.”
The Courses include:
Drone Solutions Zimbabwe
The company became the first drone pilot training school to legally open its doors in Zimbabwe, and also the first to get licenced for BVLOS training in the country.
‘’We are excited that people can now enroll for BVLOS training at DSA,” said Jeremiah Musabayana, DSA founder and Accountable Manager. “The CAAZ requirement is that one must be a valid holder of a Remote Pilot License (RPL) before they can train for BVLOS. To incentivise the market, we are offering those who enroll to train for the RPL with us, a 30 percent discount when they enroll for BVLOS training.’’
BVLOS classes opened in August last year.
Precision Drone Training
Operating out of Harare in Zimbabwe, Precision Drone Training is the pilot training wing of drone services start-up Precision Aerial Zimbabwe, which opened its doors to train drone pilots, on March 1st last year.
“Precision Drone Training opened its doors for its first class on 1 March, 2022 and invites organisations and prospective students from across Africa to enrol in the training school for one or more of the training courses on offer,” said the company in a statement.
“This marks a new era in Africa’s Commercial Drone Industry.
“The Precision Aerial Group has been officially certified by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe as an Approved RPAS Training Organisation in Zimbabwe. The approval and certification establish Precision Drone Training as an aviation training school that is certified to train Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operators in line with local laws, regulations and aviation best practices.
“The training School has already secured international certification for its advanced pilot training courses from the global Flying Labs Network through the Zimbabwe Flying Labs franchise.”
Precision Drone Training has international certification, which makes it the first and, currently, only training school in Southern Africa with dual certification, setting a new standard in professional RPAS pilot training in the entire region.
Training services include Remote Pilot License (RPL) for multirotor and fixed wing drones, BVLOS and Instructor ratings, industry-specific advanced pilot training, as well as enterprise training.
Namibian Drone Academy
Based in Windhoek, the Namibian Drone Academy says it was born with the goal of helping upcoming drone pilots get skilled in drone aviation, making the industry much safer and more productive.
“We are passionate about Drones and the ability to capture epic photos and videos. It is this passion that has resulted in the conception of The Namibian Drone Academy. This passion also drives us to give our very best in the training and advisory of drone pilots. A safer drone piloting environment benefits us all.
“It is our goal that our students receive the finest RPL training and technology transfer thus our courses have been designed in such a way to cater to a variety of needs in the piloting landscape. We are certain that once you finish your training, you will be confident and satisfied that your ability to safely and productively fly any drone.
“Each drone piloting course caters to a specific kind of individual, interest and goal. Some may be casual drone pilots, others interested in boosting their creative ability while others are looking for specialised commercial applications. If you fall into any of these categories, you would definitely benefit from our courses. Get in touch with us and we will help you find the right fit for you!”
Ussene1 May 2023 at 17:59
I’m from Mozambique. Please how can I get it? I’m interested
DroneBlogger2 May 2023 at 09:11
Hi Ussene. You can visit the training schools on their websites and try to contact them from there. We have added the links to each training school’s website in the article.