18-year-old Kerala’s 1st DGCA-licensed woman drone pilot

It was her father, who after recognising the immense potential of drones in surveying, encouraged Rinsha to learn the skill.

Published: 28th July 2023 08:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th July 2023 09:13 PM   |  A+A-

Rinsha flying a drone

Express News Service

KASARGOD: There are many 18-year-olds who decide to take a break just after finishing higher secondary education and before taking up higher studies. And of them, most opt to spend their time relaxing. However, Rinsha Pattakal of Malappuram is built differently. Unlike many of her peers, the 18-year-old decided to use her free time to learn a skill. And in doing so, she created history.

Thanks to her dedication, Rinsha became the first woman from the state to receive a licence from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for flying drones weighing up to 25kg. It was while she was waiting for admission to BTech in Civil Engineering that Rinsha decided to take up drone flying lessons. 

The rigorous training she underwent at ASAP Kerala Community Skill Park in Kasaragod, the sole DGCA-approved drone-flying training centre in Kerala, paved the way for her historic achievement. Rinsha also credits Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems Pvt Ltd, an organisation in Ernakulam that provides training to aspiring drone pilots in collaboration with ASAP, for her success. 

It was her father, who after recognising the immense potential of drones in surveying, encouraged Rinsha to learn the skill. The sole woman student in the ASAP’s first-ever drone flying training batch, Rinsha has set a shining example for young women across the country with her achievement.

The comprehensive 96-hour executive programme in small-category drone piloting, which also includes a five-day DGCA Licensing training, can be successfully completed within 16 days.  The course includes specialised training in 3D mapping, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) survey, UAV assembly and programming, and aerial cinematography, equipping students with a wide range of skills to excel in the dynamic drone industry. “Drones are revolutionising various fields and have diverse uses such as aerial surveillance, rescue operations, traffic monitoring, weather monitoring, firefighting, drone photography, videography, agriculture, and delivery services,” Rinsha said.

In India, the DGCA Drone Remote Pilot Certificate is now a mandatory requirement for operating drones. The course at ASAP Kerala offers in-depth knowledge of drone flying rules and regulations, ensuring responsible and safe operations. Aspiring pilots above 18 years of age, who have passed Class X and possess a valid passport, are eligible to enrol in the course.

ASAP officials said Rinsha’s achievement serves as an inspiration to all and showcases Kerala’s progressive spirit. “The accomplishment not only empowers women in the field of aviation but also propels the state towards embracing cutting-edge technologies,” said an official.

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