Clark State College Workforce and Business Solutions will offer a Drone Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) License Prep Course for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Operations, Planning, and Piloting on March 6th and 7th, from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The two-day course will prepare students to sit for the Part 107 License Exam and provide a hands-on opportunity to practice drone flying through simulation and directly on mini and mid-sized unmanned aerial drones.
“We are excited to offer this opportunity to both our community and industry partners,” said Lesli Beavers, director of Clark State Workforce and Business Solutions. “Being licensed for commercial drone use is increasingly popular and useful in a variety of fields. Emergency service agencies, real estate agents, photographers and videographers, agriculture, construction and many more industries can utilize drone flying and imaging to enhance their businesses and services.”
The Part 107 License exam prep course will also provide students a take-away copy of the ASA 2021 Remote Pilot Test Prep guide, to fully prepare for the licensing exam. Clark State will provide all necessary equipment for the course to be held on its main campus in Springfield, and cost is $375.00 per participant. Registration is now open at: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ehk18g7x0f016538&oseq=&c=&ch=
Dr. Adam Parrillo, interim assistant dean, associate professor and GIS/Geospatial program coordinator at Clark State, said currently there is one overarching certification for commercial operations of drones: the Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification.
“While individuals can fly recreationally without, the certification must be obtained to do any commercial (receive financial benefit) activity with a drone,” he said. “While it is only a 60 question multiple-choice knowledge examination, you must know the regulations for drone activity including the various classifications of airspace, the basics of drone safety, how to read air charts, understand weather conditions, and flight crew management.”
Parrillo said it can be difficult for a novice to navigate all of the information and a course like this helps guide the potential pilot through the information; providing tips on how to comprehend and also how to take the exam.
“Once licensed, the world of drones becomes much more tangible in terms of jobs and even careers,” said Parrillo. “We hope that this workshop not only assists individuals in the preparation to become remote pilots but also links them into Clark State’s opportunities to get hands-on flight time and practice activities that mirror current commercial activities.”
In 2020 Clark State College was also selected by the FAA as a partner for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Initiative Program or the UAS-CTI.
The FAA’s UAS-CTI program recognizes institutions that prepare students for careers in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones. In order to qualify for the initiative, schools must offer a bachelor’s or associate degree in UAS or a degree with a minor, concentration or certificate in UAS. Schools must provide curriculum covering various aspects of UAS training, including hands-on flight practice, maintenance, uses, applications, privacy concerns, safety and federal policies concerning UAS.
In addition to the partnership with the FAA, Clark State also introduced a UAS Operations and GIS Image Analysis certificate designed to provide the technical background necessary to begin a successful career in UAS operations and data handling. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) along with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have been identified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor as high growth industries.
This certificate is designed for those students who seek to enhance their job-related skills in becoming a UAS operator with the ability to manage and analyze data products. This certificate is one year in length in order to develop foundational skills and knowledge necessary for the workforce.
“There’s been much interest in the commercial drone marketplace, from larger global companies like Amazon to small startups looking to serve local demand,” said Parrillo. “Added to this, government agencies at many levels are looking to facilitate the growth of this multi-billion-dollar industry.”