Malaysia’s budget airline AirAsia said Monday it has secured its Certificate of Approval (COA) from the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM), to conduct remote drone pilot training.

With the approval, AirAsia has become first in Malaysia to provide industry support with quality remote pilot training, AirAsia said in a statement.

“We are thrilled to be the first in Malaysia to win approval from CAAM for the accreditation of our remote pilot training organization (RPTO). The team has been working closely together with CAAM for months. We thank the regulator for their ongoing support and really look forward to starting our first class in coming weeks,” said Ling Liong Tien, Chief Safety Officer of AirAsia Group.

“The idea behind becoming an RPTO is to support the industry by providing quality remote pilot training leveraging our strong aviation background and decades of expertise. The UAS (unmanned aircraft system) has become an important element in many industries driving cost-effectiveness and numerous efficiencies,

“Our commitment is to develop a strong foundation, supported by our existing robust safety management system, crew resource management and human factors training programs along with the remote pilot training modules – both in the class and out in the field,” he said.

According to the statement, the latest development supports the upcoming drone pilot project for the delivery of goods from AirAsia’s e-commerce platforms, using automated drones.

“We are proud to be driving the drone delivery revolution in Malaysia. It’s a lucrative and incredibly fast-growing market. Globally, the industry has already taken off and is projected to reach $7.39 billion by 2027,” said Bo Lingam, Chief Executive Officer of AirAsia Aviation Limited.

“This new training program provides an opportunity to upskill our Allstars and offer exciting new programs for the broader community, as well as supporting the drone industry in providing quality training to have more qualified remote pilots in Malaysia. No prior experience is necessary, making this a great opportunity for everyone to learn to fly,

“Ultimately this supports our vision to launch urban drone delivery in the future for goods and retail items from airasia’s e-commerce platforms. The skies are the limit as we can also potentially scale up to support remote areas for essential supplies during natural disasters for example,” he said.

According to the statement, the classroom training will be conducted at AirAsia Academy located in KL Sentral, Malaysia, and practical training will be conducted at the YMCA Kuala Lumpur field, adjacent to KL Sentral.

“Innovation has always been in our DNA and we can’t wait to launch the new drone curriculum at the Drone Academy within our digital edutech arm, AirAsia Academy, as we continue to support the digitalization of Malaysia through a broad range of innovative tech-based training programs,” said Aireen Omar, President of AirAsia Group (digital).

“Drone delivery will soon become our latest logistics solution, providing a strong boost to support the ever-growing e-commerce industry. Most importantly, this innovation will allow us to create new high-tech job opportunities for Malaysians. The ability to pivot is part of our culture and while some are losing their jobs in aviation, we offer a second chance for them to build a new career with us through e-commerce with initiatives such as this,

“As a disruptive leader, we are ready to take on new challenges and embrace the wave of Industry Revolution 4.0 to our advantage by ensuring people are job-ready in the new digital era. Drones have the unique ability to truly transform and expand the delivery space, from e-commerce to supporting agriculture by distributing fertilizer and seeds more efficiently, to the transportation of medicines and supplies to remote rural areas, for example,” she said.

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