SKY-BOUND: Lockyer State High School student Emily Armitage with the school's agricultural drone.
SKY-BOUND: Lockyer State High School student Emily Armitage with the school's agricultural drone. Dominic Elsome

Lockyer soars to new heights with drone subject

LOCKYER High School is looking to the skies for the future of its students.

From next year, the Gatton school will offer students the opportunity to get on the cutting edge of aviation technology, with a new certificate course in unmanned drones available.

The Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot), will give students the skills required to safely operate drones below 400 feet in daylight, while also providing a strong grounding in basic aviation concepts.

Deputy Principle of Senior Schooling Tony McCormack said the new course would help prepare students for the rapidly changing future job market.

"Clearly drones and unmanned vehicles are the next wave of technology,” Mr McCormack said.

The school hopes to offer the course, provided by SCS Training Institute, in tandem with other certificate courses to allow students to take their drone skills and apply it to an industry pathway.

"It's a bit like learning how to use a computer - it's what you do with it that's important,” he said.

"It provides the industry experience and the industry qualifications to make kids employable and give them opportunities.”

The new certificate comes at an exciting time for aviation in the region, with Toowoomba's Wellcamp Airport announced earlier this year as the first site for the Qantas Pilot Training Academy.

Lockyer SHS formerly ran an aviation curriculum for senior students, but due to falling interest and staffing issues they were forced to step away from the subject.

However, Mr McCormack said they had maintained its position as an aviation hub school.

"That provides us industry access to people like Boeing and the Air Force,” he said.

The school has been involved with drones through it's rural operations curriculum, and Mr McCormack said a dedicated subject like the certificate was the natural next step.

"This has been a massive amount of work and a long time coming,” he said.