We're ONE today! On April 22nd, 2019, after months of preparation and planning, we held our very first course in Hamilton, ON. This train-the-trainer event kicked off our partnership with Mohawk College as the first school in Canada to deliver our curriculum. Working with such a knowledgeable group of individuals, who are truly pushing the bounds of RPAS research, was a dream come true. It may sound cliche, but without the belief that Mohawk College entrusted in us, we wouldn't be here today. Richard, Rebecca, Matt - Thank you!
The Last 12 Months
Since that first class we've been so fortunate to work with an amazing group of organizations delivering curriculum, training, flight reviews, and RPAS integration services. A special thank you to D.G.S Construction, Finning Canada, Hummingbird Drones, A Filthy Lot Entertainment, Ontario Power Generation, and B.C.'s First Nations Technology Council! Finally, to all the individuals that joined us for the public ground schools held across Canada, we hope you had as much fun as we did! Along with our partners and providers we have issued over 300 course certificates this year!
A Personal Thank you
Since you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with, I'd like to thank a few of them here:
Jason Rusnak has been the best possible person to partner with on this journey. Insightful, smart, passionate, and hard working - It's been nothing but a joy getting to this point. Jason is also an unbelievably talented photographer and drone operator. He's in the middle of developing our 'Photography for RPAS Operators' course which I can't wait to take myself. Please check out his other work here: advanceddroneservices.ca and jasonrusnakphotography.com.
Vince Hannay was one of our first instructors who unfortunately left us for greener pastures to implement RPAS operations for the Onni Group. I hope to lure him back one day as his knowledge, personality, and teaching style taught me a lot.
Max Lapierre was a former student of mine years ago who really should have been doing the teaching all along! Max's incredible knowledge, passion for aviation, and RPAS experience have resulted in some incredible feedback from his students. He's currently working on developing a GIS course for us based on his research work with Dalhousie University in Halifax. I'm sure the course, like anything he touches, will be first class.
The Year Ahead
This next year just gets better and better! We've just started working with Ontario Power Generation on their vision to stand-up an RPAS Centre of Excellence. As part of that activity we'll be working on policy and procedure evolution, manual development, a Safety Management System (SMS) and Quality Audit Program (QAP) build-out, and expanding on their existing training program. In addition, and to further help them expedite the technology across the organization, we'll be providing additional training and flight reviews where required.
The other big project I'm excited about is our partnership with the BC First Nations Technology Council. We were invited to partner with them on a pilot of their Drone Stewardship Program back in August of last year. This incredible 3 week program was a sheer delight to not only collaborate on, but also deliver to a terrific group of students who knocked our socks off - A 91% pass rate on the first try of their Transport Canada RPAS exam! Max just finished the second delivery of this program at the end of March with similar results. We're hoping this next year brings more opportunities to deliver this unique and necessary program to more of the FNTC students.
Finally, we'll keep engaging and growing where we can, improving our curriculum, expanding our capabilities, and deepening our experience. All this in the hopes that we get to keep working with the friends we've made, and the hopes of making new ones!