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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 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.

Featured Projects

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. In 2018, a BCIT drone expert set out to learn how drones could help capture data about the changing environment in Antarctica.


Aircraft inspections using RPAS & AI

Three BCIT schools are working together to make aircraft inspections using RPAS safer, more effective, and more productive. The project combines RPAS savvy from the School of Construction and the Environment with aircraft expertise from the School of Transportation and artificial intelligence from the School of Computing and Academic Sciences.


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.


Thermal mapping of a glacier surface

As part of a global community of “Citizen Scientists,” BCIT’s Dr. Saczuk offered RPAS expertise and training to group of researchers who are measuring the effects of increasing temperatures in the Arctic.

Explore stories on this work

Monitoring construction progress

This RPAS project will provide bi-weekly 3D models of the construction of the new BCIT Health Sciences Centre for the duration of the project. The data is being used by various BCIT departments and the construction developers to monitor progress.

For more information

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

Industry and Training

BCIT distinguishes itself through applied education and integration with industry. The RPAS Hub helps sustain this role through ongoing collaboration between learners, teachers, researchers, and industry.

Partners      Training


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

RPAS safety at BCIT


The RPAS Hub team includes professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds, credentials, and interests. As educators, administrators, researchers, and enthusiasts, they all share a passion for the critical role RPAS play at BCIT and in Canada.

Meet our team