Industry adopts drones for forestry supervision

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Enabling foresters to see the forest from above; drone technology has been developing exponentially over the last couple of years and Interpine Innovation presented at ForestTech 2016 on courses available for foresters to start using the technology to their benefit.

Over 25 foresters from harvesting supervisors, environmental managers, forest engineers and a few harvesting contractors have completed training this year and are starting to get out there using drones to make more informed and timely operational decisions. The course provided by Interpine in partnership with Massey University School of Aviation allows them to gain an understanding of drone technology, while also getting their “RPAS Civil Aviation Authority 101 wings certification”.

The course provides flight skills on a range of DJI craft so they can then select which technology is the most appropriate to invest in for the job. Hazel Swanson, a forest engineer from Timberlands Ltd completed the training in May this year and will be speaking at ForestTech 2017 in November on her experiences to date; providing insights into how drones have made an impact on her job and her team’s work.

Two of the NZ Civil Aviation Authority RPAS (drone) team attended alongside the recent intake of foresters in August; with Mac MacCarthy making reference to the course “what we have seen here is an industry sector doing things right and a model for others to follow … training is key to the success and the safe adoption of this technology”.

If you’re interested in taking up the technology the next course is being held in Rotorua 11-15 Dec 2017; and online registrations are available at: https://goo.gl/qNQD1m. Further details on the upcoming ForestTECH 2017 series can be found on the event website, www.foresttech.events. The series starts in Rotorua on 15 November.

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