Ballarat firm licensed to fly drones commercially

BALLARAT business Victorian UAS Training has been licensed to commercially fly drones. 

Mathew Herbert and Leon Dwyer fly one of their multi-rotor drones at Lake Wendouree. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

Mathew Herbert and Leon Dwyer fly one of their multi-rotor drones at Lake Wendouree. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

The new business constructs unassisted aerial vehicles and will soon open courses to teach people how to operate them. 

Director Mathew Herbert said he came from a family of pilots and was able to continue his love of flying through operating drones. Victorian UAS Training has an expanding collection, currently owning one multi-rotor drone, which can move vertically and hover, and a number of fixed-wing drones. 

The drone carries a camera which can be controlled from ground level to record videos and take photos. 

The business has already begun survey work for Deakin University in Warrnambool, mapping out coastal areas. 

Mr Herbert said they were recently working at Griffith Island near Port Fairy and were able to see some of the great things they could do. 

“It just doesn’t get much better than that as a job, to be out on a beautiful day in such beautiful places doing something you love doing.” 

Two people are required to control the drone, with one flying the vehicle and the other one controlling the camera. 

Victorian UAS Training maintenance controller Leon Dwyer said he had been flying drones since he was about nine years old, but was now able to fly them commercially. 

“In Australia, it is fine to use drones as a hobby,” Mr Dwyer said. 

“You can’t fly above 120 metres due to getting in the way of aircraft.”

The drone can be used to make 3D maps, help with environmental work and agriculture, and video work for television. 

The business will soon starting training programs once the curriculum is approved by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

It will be the first teaching facility for drones in Ballarat and the only commercial operator in Ballarat. 

Mr Herbert said 70 people from all over Australia were already on a waiting list to take part  in the course.


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