RUSTA drone scholarships success story continues in 2020…




7 September 2020


Eagle Eye Innovations academy, RUSTA, conducted a selection day for this year’s Air League scholarship scheme for Unmanned Air Vehicles/Drones. This is the second year that RUSTA has worked with the Air League to provide scholarships to two candidates and the scheme was open to Air League members from across the UK. The success of last year’s scholarships surprised everyone with both candidates passing the course and going on to pursue careers in the UAV industry. “We didn’t know what to expect,” said Tiina Conacher, Programme and Operations Lead from the Air League, “It’s such a fledgling area of aviation but the overall response has been fantastic.”


The initial selection process was based on application forms and the shortlisted candidates were invited to a selection day at RUSTA’s HQ in Lincoln. The day involved an interview conducted by Tiina Conacher of the Air League and Sion Roberts CEO of EEI/RUSTA. Tiina, a Work Psychologist by profession, had previously worked in the military and civilian context in selection and recruitment. She ensured that a fair but suitable selection criteria and process was followed. This consisted of an interview followed by a flight aptitude element to ensure the candidates had the ability to operate a Small Unmanned Air System competently and safely.


“ Just like last year, I’m blown away with how driven, motivated and capable the Air League candidates are,” states Sion Roberts of RUSTA, “ It’s so difficult to select just two successful candidate out of a pool of such talent.”


Number of scholarships awarded rises to three…


After a busy day it was down to Sion and Tiina to choose the two candidates who had performed the best. It was no enviable task, as Sion says: “ This year the shortlisted individuals were of such a high standard it was almost impossible to differentiate between such inspiring individuals, therefore I made the decision to increase the number of scholarships to three.”


“In such turbulent, difficult times I find it incredibly rewarding, and indeed vital, to offer these scholarships to the young, talented individuals that are looking to pursue a career in Unmanned Technology,” Sion comments, “2020 has been a dreadful year for the aviation industry, hopefully we can help  make people aware of other options and facets of aviation that may inspire them going forward.”


The three successful candidates will start their training in September, and all going well, will graduate with a qualification that will give them a head start in the ever growing world of Unmanned Air Vehicles.



The Air League is a sector leading aviation and aerospace charity focused on changing lives through aviation. Its core purpose is to inspire people from all backgrounds into aviation and to champion the British Aviation and Aerospace industries. Each year many hundreds of people from disadvantaged backgrounds benefit from Air League support to help them start a career, build self-esteem and well-being, make them feel valued and realise what they can achieve.


The Air League fosters interest in the whole field of aviation, aerospace and defence, particularly in developing young people and providing opportunities for the less advantaged.

The Air League supports the UK’s aviation and aerospace communities through the Leading Edge, Air League in Parliament, receptions, lectures and policy papers which articulate the advanced technologies and crucial industry skills which are vital to the economic success of the UK.

The Air League is also the UK’s largest provider of flying scholarships and bursaries. Over the past decade, scholarships worth over £2 million have been allocated to young people across the UK. The Leading Edge is designed for members aged under 35 years and complements the Air League Trust’s formal scholarships and bursaries programmes by acting as a wider network for people interested in flying or wanting to pursue a career in aviation.


About Eagle Eye Innovations Ltd

Formed in 2014 Eagle Eye Innovations are a unique company based on their expertise in the world of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

No other company in the United Kingdom has the credentials, the qualifications and the experience in this specialist niche area of aviation.


Owned and operated by EEI, RUSTA is one of the longest running SUAS Academies in the World.

Based on a solid aviation experience, RUSTA has trained over 2000 operators from many varied industries across the globe. Uniquely, all of RUSTA’s instructors and management come from a rich background in aviation from such organisations as the Royal Air Force, Army Air Corps , Policing and Civil Aviation. This has not only allowed RUSTA to provide recommendations to the CAA but has also allowed accreditation through ProQual to allow RUSTA to award NVQ level 3 and 4 qualifications.


Read about last year’s successful candidates..

Keep up to date with the latest developments, just click on the links below.