“Taking Flight: Fellowship officials Learn the Basics of Drone Operation”

In the midst of an era marked by remarkable technological progress, the 2023 Fellowship officials of the Asian Forest Cooperation Organization (AFoCO) took part in a three-day Basic Drone Training program organized by the Forest Aviation Headquarters (FAH) of the Republic of Korea. Drones have rapidly evolved into indispensable tools for a wide range of applications, such as disaster response, infrastructure inspection, agriculture, and environmental monitoring. Recognizing the potential benefits of these unmanned aerial vehicles, the FAH, in collaboration with the AFoCO Secretariat, orchestrated this training event from 30th October to 1st November at the Forest Aviation Headquarters in Wonju City, Gangwon Province, Republic of Korea.

(Left to Right) Mr. Han Dae-Hoon from FAH, Mr. Cha Sang-Min from FAH, Ms. Kim Jong Yun from AFoCO, Ms. Tshering Zam from Bhutan, Mr. Ko Ki-Yeon from FAH, Mr. Niyaz Zholbarys from Kazakhstan, Mr. Zaw Min Aye from Myanmar, Mr. Kim KiWon from AFoCO, Mr. Park kwang-bok from FAH

Tshering Zam, Fellowship Official from Buthan

“I am really grateful to FAH & the AFoCO Secretariat for giving me the opportunity to participate in the Drone Training here at the Forest Aviation Headquarters. It was my first time handling the drone and the experience has been phenomenal. I will cherish this learning forever and look forward to having advanced-level training in Drone operation in the near future. For now, Thanks to the training instructors of the FAH, I feel much more confident in my ability to operate drones safely”

Zaw Min Aye, Fellowship official from Myanmar

“I did enjoy the training which included lectures, simulation exercises and practically operating drones. It was also exciting to see the drone completion event and a very good event for the staff and public. As always, we had very delicious lunch and fun time playing table tennis. I would like to thank FAH for giving up the drone and forest fire extinguishing trainings”

Niyaz Zholbarys, Fellowship Official from Kazakhstan

The most important resource at the site of a natural disaster, including a forest fire, is communication, including live (online) communication. It ensures the safety of both forest rangers and local residents. In a short-term training course at the forest aviation headquarters, I learned a lot about the types of drones and their control. Proper coordination of the operating force and means with the help of a drone is safe and cost-effective.

I thank to AFoCO and the FAH of the Republic of Korea for the opportunity presented.
The professional use of advanced technologies to combat forest fires proves once again the professionalism of the team of the Forest Aviation Headquarters of the Republic of Korea.

The Basic Drone Training course underscored the ethical and privacy considerations linked to drone usage. The fellowship officials acquired the skills necessary to operate these devices responsibly, with a full understanding of individuals’ rights and privacy. With all participants handling drones for the first time, the excitement levels were very high among the participants. Beyond drone operation, the participants also delved into techniques for aerial photography using drones.

As the fellowship officials embarked on this thrilling journey of drone training, we weren’t merely gaining a new skill but embracing a transformative approach to public service. The potential of drones to revolutionize how we serve our communities knows no bounds. As we soar into the realm of drone technology, we stand poised to make a significant impact, opening new horizons and possibilities for the betterment of our society. Furthermore, whether assessing damage after a natural disaster, monitoring traffic patterns, or conducting environmental surveys, drones offer a unique vantage point that can significantly enhance decision-making and response strategies concerning forest-related disasters. At the end of the training, the participants were also awarded with Certificate of Completion by the FAH.

The AFoCO 2023 Fellowship Officials, would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to Director General Mr. Ko Ki-Yeon and his team at the Forest Aviation Headquarters for facilitating this outstanding learning experience at the FAH. Additionally, we extend our deepest appreciation to our training instructors, Mr. Kim Yong-Ho and Mr. Cha Sang Min, and the entire team for their excellent lessons on drone operation.

Contributed by Ms. Tshering Zam, 2023 Fellowship official from Bhutan

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