New Drone Training Academy Makes Deeside Its Home

A specialist training company has been established in Deeside in response to a growing need for its services throughout Scotland.

Professional Drone Training Limited offers bespoke training for all levels of drone pilots, from those already established in operations to new starts, from its base at Inchmarlo on the outskirts of Banchory.

Looking to take a break from careers as helicopter pilots, directors Jonathan Shelbourne and Liam McGrath recognised a need for tailored training and over the past year have worked towards securing the required certification to establish the business.

The company has just delivered the first of its courses at its Banchory headquarters which give individuals the knowledge base and practical skills required by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) to gain a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO).

It is also the only National Qualified Entity (NQE) north of Edinburgh offering approved training and, with Liam splitting his time between the north-east and Glasgow, the pair feel the company is ideally placed to serve both the north-east and west coast of Scotland.

Mr Shelbourne said: “We both had independent companies which were CAA approved to offer commercial drone services but felt that we were ideally placed to take things to the next level to address a growing need in the industry.

“We worked towards gaining an NQE which allows us to complete training courses and flight assessments for people wishing to operate drones commercially, whether for photography, videography, surveying, agricultural purposes. The list is endless.”

Based at Inchmarlo Golf Club, the company’s headquarters provides a dedicated classroom and breakout space as well as outside space for drone flying. The site also benefits from onsite catering, extensive parking and accommodation for those travelling to access the courses.

Jonathan added: “With the use of drones growing, along with high-profile incidents of people operating drones inappropriately, we feel the demand for our courses can only continue to rise. As approved trainers, we are also committed to ensuring our course content and materials are up to date and cover any recent regulatory changes, ensuring anyone who completes one of our courses can be confident that they are now in the best place to grow their business or hobby with the correct industry qualifications.”

Alexander Burnett, Chairman of Leys Estate on which the business is based, said: “The Banchory area is home to a diverse range of businesses, many of which have flourished despite the challenges of the current economic climate. We are delighted to welcome Professional Drone Training to Leys Estate and look forward to supporting Jonathan and Liam in their new enterprise.”

For further information about Professional Drone Training Limited, visit