WHO ARE WE?
We believe quality education for all drone pilots will help make this industry more productive, safe, and efficient. With years of commercial aviation experience under our belts, we know what it takes to build a business in a rapidly changing yet highly regulated environment. As instructors, we pride ourselves in clearly communicating the information that will allow you to reach your goals.
We believe we can make drone technology more accessible by providing people with a path to pilot certification, and an opportunity to thrive as a professional drone pilot.
Our leadership Team
Alec Wilson | Co-Founder / President
Alec has thousands of hours flying helicopters commercially all over BC and Alberta. While also running one of SKY Helicopter’s largest sales programs, he conducted aerial operations in wildfire, construction, forestry, and mountain tourism to name a few. Since co-founding Coastal Drone, he has lead the team in business development and strategic direction. Alec is a passionate drone pilot, and loves how fast the industry is growing. He holds a degree in physical geography from UBC, a commercial helicopter license, and an advanced pilot certificate – RPAS.
Kate Klassen | Co-Founder / VP, Ops
Kate is considered to be one of Canada’s top drone regulation and training expert. Having worked closely with Transport Canada since 2016, she has been an integral part of Canada’s new RPAS regulation development and implementation. She sits on the board of Unmanned Systems Canada, and COPA Canada. Kate is Coastal Drone’s lead instructor, and mastermind behind our certification courses and programs. Kate has thousands of hours as a commercial fixed wing pilot, holds a bachelors degree in management, an MBA from Simon Fraser University, and is an advanced RPAS pilot with a flight reviewer rating.
Adam Besse | Co-Founder / Director, Creative
One of the best creative minds in the Westlund group of companies, Adam brings a wealth of experience and knowledge from creating engaging content to being responsible for the cinema quality courses Coastal Drone is known for. He holds an arts degree in video production and has 15+ years as a visual creator. He is a director on Coastal Drone’s board, and leads strategic marketing projects for the company.
Andrew Westlund | CEO, Westlund Group of Companies
Andrew is the CEO of the Westlund Group of Companies, a group that Coastal Drone is proud to be part of. Andrew has grown companies from start-up to sustainment, and is the lead advisor and director for the Coastal Drone team. He grew Apex Wireless for 25 years before it was acquired by Telus, and has 8 other companies which he leads and advises. Andrew creates an environment for entrepreneurs and like minded thought leaders to thrive in. He has been a leader in the BC business world for the last 30 years, and is showing no signs of slowing down. His most notable companies are SKY Helicopters, Apex Wireless, Agency Media, Fluid Spa, Vinyl Labs, and Coastal Drone.
Leland Dieno | Partner / Director, Digital Strategy
Leland leads and directs all of Coastal Drone’s online strategy and web development. Having worked in the marketing and web industry for the last 15 years, he is uniquely equipped to lead the Coastal team in the digital realm. Leland also serves as the Vice President at Agency Media, and proudly works on both companies as the continue to scale and thrive. He holds a degree from BCIT in digital marketing, and is currently a basic RPAS pilot.
Vince Hannay | Operations Manager
Vince has thousands of hours flying airplanes commercially including for the BC ambulance service. He has been working in the drone space since it began in Canada about 6 years ago. Vince is Coastal Drone’s lead flight reviewer, managing the National network of flight reviewers who work for Coastal Drone in almost every major centre in Canada. He holds a degree from UBC, and has been in aviation for over 20 years. If you are getting your flight review done in the Vancouver, you will likely be evaluated by Vince!