Home Programs & Courses Professional Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems

Professional Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems

New Program!

Open for Summer 2021

Length: 15 weeks Credential: Certificate Delivery: Full Time Classroom

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Overview

Gain specialized professional skills to become a drone pilot in this emerging field with application to various industries. Our Professional Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) program will teach you all aspects of operating drones for commercial use. From agricultural, environmental and industrial monitoring and inspection to emergency response to 3-D mapping and beyond, the use of drones for a variety of applications in numerous industries is rapidly evolving.

You’ll learn about the construction and maintenance of drone technology and be trained and licensed according to Transport Canada guidelines for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems. You’ll also add value to clients and employers by gaining practical experience with inspections, mapping and the processing of geomatics data performed by Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems and emerging Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations. Understanding these systems will allow you to contribute to business operations by addressing how RPAS and BVLOS can help meet business needs and client demands.

Is this the right fit for me?

In accordance with Transport Canada’s overall requirements, the pilot operating the RPAS must:

  • Not suffer from any condition which would render them unfit to perform their duties.
  • Have visual acuity 20/20 or 20/20 corrected (i.e. use of corrective lenses).
  • Have sufficient English language ability so to be understood by local Air Traffic Control when using VHF radio.
  • Evidence of good health.

Credential

After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive their Professional Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems certificate.

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Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue job opportunities as a(n): 

  • RPAS pilot performing visual inspections 
  • beyond visual line of sight RPAS operations
  • mission planner 
  • maintainer
  • pilot performing survey and mapping flights

Related careers include: 

  • geographic information systems technologist
  • non-destructive inspection technician

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $10,233

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid

Requirements

You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and space is available.

When can you apply?

  • Applications are now open! Apply today.
Term Program start
Summer 2021 Aug. 16, 2021

Researchers investigate drone delivery of medical supplies to remote communities during pandemic

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), commonly referred to as drones, may prove to be a valuable tool in the battle against pandemics like COVID-19. Researchers at the University of Calgary, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) are partnering with the Stoney Nakoda Nations (SNN) to deliver medical equipment and test kits for COVID-19 to remote areas, and to connect these communities to laboratories more quickly using these remotely piloted aircraft.

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

  • Summer 2021 start: applications are now open! Apply today. 

Admission requirements

At least 50% in the following courses or their equivalents:

  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2
  • Math 30-1 or Math 30-2 or Pure Math 30 or Applied Math 30,
  • One grade 12 science course
  • All applicants must demonstrate English language proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our  international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Direct Entry: four-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Apply and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades.   

  • Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full. 

Step 4: Log in to mySAIT.ca to check your admission status and monitor changes to your application status

Failure to meet anticipated final grades will result in offers being rescinded.

Communication during selection

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. 

We receive a significant number of applications for this program so the selection process can take some time. Every effort will be made to maintain the timeline above. We appreciate your patience. 

Courses

Program outline

Course code Course name Credit
AERO-200 Advanced Mapping for RPAS 1.5
AERO-201 Basic Mapping for RPAS 1.5
AERO-202 Beyond Visual Line of Sight Operations (BVLOS) 3.0
AERO-208 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems - Professional Flight School 3.0
AREG-209 RPAS System Servicing 3.0
AERO-212 RPAS- Professional Operations and Planning 3.0
INSP-200 Visual Inspection Level II 1.5
PROJ-222 RPAS Capstone 1.5
Program total 18.0

Progression

Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines. 

Costs

2021/22 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 $8,900 $793.20 $287.77 $252 $10,233

SAIT Fees

Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $171.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $100
Student technology fee: $100

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

Books and supplies*

  • Books are approximately $500 - $1,500 for the year.
  • For an estimate of the costs associated with purchasing a device that meets the standard hardware and software requirements, see our computers and laptops page.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Orientation

To find the time and platform, visit our orientation page.

Computers and laptops

This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

Required equipment/tools

A tool list and timeline for purchasing the items will be provided at orientation.

Required personal protective equipment (PPE)

The industry-approved PPE you'll need will be discussed during orientation.

Preparation courses

To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 100: The SAIT Experience and ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices. 

Required textbooks

The booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start.

Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase required this term.

Contact 

Phone: 403.284.7018
Email: aerocentre@sait.ca

Academic chair

Stephanie Hogewoning, Academic Chair
Email: stephanie.hogewoning@sait.ca

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

Art Smith Aero Centre
403.284.7018
aerocentre@sait.ca

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