At the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP NIGS), Geoladies PH, Philippines Flying Labs, UP Resilience Institute (UPRI), and UP Youth Mappers organized a free drone workshop for women on September 14. There’s a shortage of women drone pilots in the Philippines. Only about eight percent of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)‘s registered drone pilots/controllers are women.
And this activity aimed to entice more women to use drones in the geospatial community. Eighty women signed up for this event, but participants were restricted to 25 to maximize the learning experience for the participants. The 25 participants chosen came from diverse fields such as agriculture, geology, disaster risk management, academe, social welfare, forestry, and NGOs.
Led by all-female presenters, Jen Ayco from Geoladies PH started the workshop by sharing the history of women mappers. Dr. Heidi Sampang (She Maps UAV online certified instructor) introduced Philippines Flying Labs and briefly discussed the different projects of the Philippines Flying Labs in the country. Leigh Lunas (Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines certified UAV pilot and a member of the Philippines Flying Labs team) was the lead instructor and discussed the value of women learning how to fly drones, the fundamental checklists and controls, and aerial image processing. After the lecture, Leigh and Dr. Heidi facilitated the hands-on flying session for the participants using two Tello drones and a DJI Phantom 4. Everyone was able to operate the Tellos during the indoor session and the DJI Phantom 4 for the outdoor session. Two lightning talks were then given by Andi Tabinas (mapping mental health facilities and stories) and Feye Andal (UP Youth Mappers chapter activities).
By the end of the workshop, the participants felt more confident operating drones, and they want to start incorporating the use of drone technology in their specific fields. The participants also realized the potential roles and perspectives of women in the drone industry and how these groups of women can support each other in this endeavor.
The workshop created a safe space for women to explore and learn more about innovative drone technology. We hope that this training encourages more women to become CAPP certified and registered drone pilots.
Philippines Flying Labs successfully completed the She Maps Online Community Instructor course, which aims to help them create new drone training programs and enhance the programs already in place. Learn more about the Flying Labs experience with this program.