The Launch of the New RPAS Program

UNSW Aviation conducted a media launch for its innovative new program, the Bachelor of Aviation in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, in collaboration with our industry Practical Training Partner, Surf Life Saving NSW.

UAV Pilot flying a remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) at the beach in Australia

On the 17th of October, 2023, we conducted a media launch for our innovative new program, the Bachelor of Aviation in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems with a media collaboration with our industry Practical Training Partner, Australian UAV Service/Surf Life Saving NSW and special guest, AFLW’s Sydney Swans star, Chloe Molloy.

Students from years 9 through 12 across Sydney had the opportunity to experience drone flight in an exhilarating setting with the University of NSW’s School of Aviation and the Australian Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle Service (AUAVS) teaming up for a Drone Racing Day in Moore Park. 

The pioneering collaboration between two of the country’s premier organisations exploring the capabilities of drone technology is part of a larger project facilitating the implementation of a new degree through the respected Sydney-based university – that of a Bachelor of Aviation, majoring in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. 

The innovative degree is a first-of-its-kind in NSW and will equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to support the demand in the ever-evolving field of aviation, laying the platform to produce a new line of commercial pilots, drone operators, and aviation researchers.

"The launch of the Bachelor of Aviation majoring in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems represents a significant step forward in aviation education,” AUAVS Manager, Paul Hardy said. 

“This program will empower students to explore innovative applications of drone technology and prepare them for careers throughout the growth of the aviation industry."

“Aviassist will provide the formal Remote Pilots License (RePL) qualifications while AUAVS will provide the commercial experience in the practical training component,” School Manager, UNSW Aviation, Lorda Omeissah added.

“This will ensure graduates of this program will have 40 hours of RPAS flight training and commercial experience, which follows 40 hours of fixed wing (aeroplane) flight training, leading the way in this field.”

In anticipation of the new major under the Bachelor of Aviation, the UNSW Drone Racing Day provided an opportunity for enthusiastic students to catch a glimpse into the world of UAV technology, testing their piloting skills in a series of races through a designed course. 

Industry experts from the AUAVS and UNSW were on hand to provide valuable insights and offer networking opportunities, while students gained a deeper understanding of drone applications across various industries. 

“We have created this academic program to align with the growing demand for skilled drone pilots and professionals. Graduates of this program will have both fixed wing (aeroplane) and RPAS pilot licences, as well as the knowledge and critical thinking skills to lead this rapidly evolving sector into the future.” Professor Brett Molesworth, Head of School, UNSW Aviation explained.  

“Our Drone Racing Day was more than just a competition; it's an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in the world of aviation and witness firsthand the exhilaration of drone racing,” Paul said. 

“Together, UNSW and AUAVS want to inspire the next generation of aviators and problem solvers. Our collaboration is a testament to our shared commitment of advancing aviation knowledge and safety.

“Whether you have a passion for flying or are simply curious about the world of drones, this event and the bachelor’s degree program are designed to support your aspirations. I encourage students to seize this unique opportunity."