DJI has opened a UTC (UAS Training Center) in the Netherlands to help educate professional drone operators in Europe. According to DJI, the goal of the training center is to establish a global industry standard for various types of drone applications.
To start, the center will have two campuses in the Netherlands, which will offer separate curriculums. Both campuses will be run in partnership with the Drone Flight Academy, a training partner based in the Netherlands.
Many industries benefit from utilising drone technology in Europe and globally. DJI wants to help businesses to benefit from drone technology, not just through our hardware and software solutions, but also through education and empowerment.
– Barbara Stelzner, DJI Director of Corporate Communication
Participants will complete a knowledge and flight test when they have completed their coursework, and those who pass will be awarded a certificate from the UTC. Because of the Drone Flight Academy partnership, those who pass will also receive the Netherlands’ Remotely Piloted Aircraft License, which is issued by the Netherlands’ Civil Aviation Authority and required for commercial drone operations there.
About the Two UTC Campuses
One of the two new UTC campuses DJI is creating in the Netherlands will be dedicated to aerial photography and will be located at Space53 in Enschede. The other campus will be dedicated to industrial inspection, and will be located at DFC in Hoofddorp.
Curriculum for the aerial photography campus will cover operational knowledge, including basics around regulations, flight planning, product knowledge, and best practices for operations. It will also cover creative aspects of aerial photography, which will include information on how to use various cameras, as well as best practices for different aerial photography techniques and post-production.
Curriculum for the industrial inspection campus will cover the technical and operational knowledge required to conduct industrial inspections in various scenarios, and will also dive into real-life inspections situations, including solar panels, power plants, and power lines, among others.
DJI Market Dominance
Opening these training centers makes sense as one of many next steps for DJI, by far the largest commercial drone manufacturer out there, in their continuous quest for market dominance.
A recent study from Skylogic Research found that DJI is estimated to have a whopping 74% of market share in 2018, up slightly from 72% in 2017. The Phantom and Mavic drones were by far the most popular, according to the study, with the Inspire and Spark following.
DJI already has a strong market presence in Europe. By training drone professionals to use their hardware, they’ll benefit by furthering their existing presence and establishing themselves as a knowledge source for individuals and companies looking to break into the drone industry.
And for companies looking to incorporate drones into their operations but uncertain about how to go about it—whether to hire a third party, do the work in-house, or some hybrid of the two—the UTC certificates issued by these new training centers will certainly present a useful way to quickly identify qualified pilots.
These UTC campuses in the Netherlands will almost certainly just be the beginning. In fact, these two campuses aren’t even the first training effort DJI has put in place the Netherlands—over the summer they launched a training center for the use of drones among Dutch emergency workers in the Netherlands, also in partnership with Space53.
From here, we can imagine DJI opening many more training centers, with various focuses, as they continue their push to establish and maintain dominance in the market.
What do you think about these new European training centers? Chime in on this post in the UAV Coach Community forum to share your thoughts.