Northland Community & Technical College Selected for Federal Aviation Administration Training Program

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Twenty-six institutions across the nation have been selected for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Program. August, 2020

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected Northland’s Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) Technician program for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Program (UAS-CTI).

Launched in April of this year, the UAS-CTI is a result of the 2018 FAA Reorganization Act which required the establishment of a collegiate training initiative program relating to unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). 

The FAA’s UAS-CTI program recognizes institutions that prepare students for careers in UAS, commonly referred to as drones. To qualify for the initiative, schools must offer a bachelor or associate degree program in UAS or a degree with a minor, concentration, or certificate in UAS. Schools must provide curriculum covering various UAS training aspects, including hands-on flight practice, maintenance, uses, applications, privacy concerns, safety, and federal policies concerning UAS.  

“Northland’s Aviation Maintenance training programs lead the industry through continued excellence,” declared Curtis Zoller, Northland Associate Dean of Aerospace and Agriculture, “We are committed to ensuring our graduates have the most relevant training, preparing them to support emerging technologies in the UAS industry.”  

Participating institutions will engage with the FAA, other participants, general industry, local governments, law enforcement, and regional economic development entities to address labor force needs.

In addition, these new UAS-CTI Partners will support the FAA’s efforts to expand the aviation workforce of the future while providing additional opportunities for Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) students. 

“This designation is an example of Northland’s ongoing commitment to support the UAS industry and required workforce,” Zoller explains, “With technology evolving so rapidly, Northland strives to keep technicians prepared for the challenges that await them.”  

Northland Aerospace has led Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Geospatial Information Technology (GIT) education developments since 2010 with the launch of the nation’s first UAS Maintenance Training Program.

Northland Aerospace currently has the only two-year Geospatial Intelligence Analysis degree program and launched a small UAS Field Service Technician degree program in 2017.

Northland has also been awarded multiple National Science Foundation Advanced Technological program projects. The most recent NSF award is a seven million dollar grant to launch the National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT).

As an Advanced Technical Education Center, NCAT leads the nation’s autonomous technologies workforce with a focus on expanding educational resources to address current workforce demands, developing career pathways, and engaging stakeholders from education, industry, and government.

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