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Remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS, or drones)

The RPAS Hub: Drone Education, Training and Research at BCIT

Welcome to the RPAS Hub

Welcome to the RPAS Hub, BCIT’s collaborative centre for education, training and research in drone technology.

Drones, now referred to as remotely piloted aircraft systems or RPAS, merge aircraft technology with fields as diverse as surveying, emergency response, and equipment inspection—all areas of BCIT expertise. As British Columbia’s leader in aerospace and technology education, we are committed to ensuring the successful application of RPAS technology to learning, research, and industry.

Hub News

Salmon Habitat Protection

As summer temperatures rise, salmon rely on pools of cooler groundwater to thrive. We’ve been partnering with the Pacific Salmon Foundation to scan rivers for these thermal refuges in habitat preservation efforts. See: A Look from Above: How Drones Can Support Salmon Battling Climate Change.

Agricultural Mapping and Surveying

Read about our work assessing impacts of soil movement with Geosurv Solutions in Salmon Arm: Drones Give Growers a Tactical Advantage—

Explore 3D Models of Campus

Explore these campus models created by Sean Galway from Geomatics Engineering, and read about how drones have changed the field of LiDAR technology over the last decade.

RPAS Education in Canada

BCIT has the chance to be a leader in the emerging field of RPAS education, according to a consulting report by BCIT business students.

Featured Projects

RPAS search and rescue

Advancements in RPAS technology are relieving the time-sensitive, risky, and expensive task of rescuing people in BC’s backcountry.

Read about Dr. Michal Aibin’s research into real-time object detection

Climate change research in Antarctica

Climate change is affecting the polar regions at a faster rate than anywhere in the world. But the distances and harsh climates make these regions tough to monitor. A BCIT drone expert set out to learn how drones could help capture data about the changing environment in Antarctica.


Mapping invasive species with multispectral imagery

This collaborative, learner-led project took students into the field to test new technology for exploring a long-standing problem in natural areas management—detecting and managing invasive species. The results from the project have real-world applications for municipalities and government corporations such as TransLink.


Courses & Training

Explore this positively disruptive technology. Our courses introduce the rapidly evolving field of RPAS applications.

Courses offered


At the Hub, all education, training, and research are fundamentally rooted in a culture of safety. Equally important is promotion of the safe integration of RPAS into Canada’s airspace.

RPAS safety at BCIT


The team includes professionals with varied backgrounds, credentials, and interests. As educators, researchers, and enthusiasts, we all share a passion for the critical role of RPAS at BCIT and in Canada.

Meet our team

Vision for the Future

The Hub is a multidisciplinary and collaborative centre that will promote RPAS research and education locally and globally.

Read our full vision

Funding Partner

Industry Partner

Education Partner

Funding Partner

Education Partner

Education Partner

Industry Partner

Industry Partner