FAA Drone Training Initiative Announced: Providing the Skills the Industry Needs

FAA drone training initiativeA new FAA drone training initiative will certify institutions offering UAS programs and provide opportunities for collaboration with the agency.  The program is a focused effort to match training with labor force needs, benefitting both the industry and students interested in a career in drones.

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced a new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI) that allows educational institutions and the agency to work collaboratively with students who pursue careers in UAS,” says an FAA release.

The program will make it easier for students to identify qualified training opportunities – and will make it easier for them to find employment upon completion of their education.  Certified institutions will “work with the FAA, other participants, general industry, local governments, law enforcement, and regional economic development entities to address labor force needs,” says the announcement.

“Providing our nation’s youth with educational opportunities is a major commitment of this administration,” said FAA Administrator Stephen M. Dickson. “We see these institutions opening doors for students seeking careers in this exciting, growing field of aviation.”

From the announcement:

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 required the agency to establish a UAS collegiate training initiative program. It also called for a process to designate an association of public, two-year institutions of higher education as Community and Technical College Centers of Excellence in Small UAS System Technology Training.

The eligibility guidelines for the institutions to participate are:

  • School type: Not-for-profit, two- or four-year, post-secondary educational institutions.
  • Accreditation: Must be institutionally accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
  • Degree/Certification: Schools must currently offer a bachelors or associates degree with a minor, concentration, or certificate in UAS.

Post-secondary institutions with UAS curricula seeking recognition as a UAS-CTI can now apply for this distinction. Once requests for participation are received, the FAA will send potential applicants an initial questionnaire to further evaluate their eligibility for the program. Review information on how institutions can apply.

 
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Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam or (for paid consulting engagements only) request a meeting through AdvisoryCloud:

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