Drone pilots to be trained at Maritime Institute
The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) has teamed with Agrocaelum Limited to train pilots for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commonly called drones.
Part of the agreement will see a drone laboratory established at the CMI, through funding from Agrocaelum.
Along with the training of pilots, there will also be testing of the drones to meet regional agricultural needs, which involve the spraying of crops.
“This is about applied learning, and our curriculum is flexible, so it is aligned to the workforce,” said Executive Director for the CMI, Dr Fritz Pinnock, after he signed the agreement at the Petroleum Corporation (PCJ) auditorium in St Andrew, recently.
Pinnock said the move is closely aligned with the Institute’s mandate to invest in engineering and research as a core development feature of its transition to a university.
He said the institution is creating a research-orientated environment, driven by commercial activity to ensure a sustainable source of funding for projects and the consistent involvement of students in the ventures
Agrocaelum is the first industrial drone services company in the Caribbean.
It was founded in 2015 by a cohort of trained UAS pilots, with the mission to lead the Caribbean in drone technology services by producing results for clients while reducing their operational cost and impact on the environment.
Specifically, the drones will be used to provide reliable aerial spraying services to commercial farmers, with the goal of increasing production. The drones are able to release various chemicals from the air with precision.
“There has been a great need in the agricultural industry in Jamaica, and this partnership is very timely,” the company’s Managing Director, Kirt Harris, said.