The Federal Aviation Administration recently released regulations that pave the way for expanded commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems, commonly called drones. As part of the new guidelines, drone pilots are now required to pass the FAA's initial aeronautical knowledge test.
Niagara County Community College is offering a comprehensive introduction to the sUAS non-credit course that provides the information and skills training for businesspeople and hobbyists to prepare for this test and harness the potential of this technology.
The economic impact of sUAS technology is expected to be at least $82 billion in the next 10 years. Much of this growth comes from the application of drone technology to existing industries, as well as emerging businesses that will be created, which are facilitated by the new FAA regulations.
"There are countless applications and workforce impacts expected," said Phyllis Ulett, NCCC director of continuing education and workforce development. "And we are offering the most comprehensive, up-to-date course material available so our business community can be among those who are capturing this technology's potential."
The course is designed to prepare students for the FAA test and it also includes the different types of flight systems and their capabilities, safe and legal flying practices, market opportunities as well as piloting skills.
Each participant is given a Syma X5C quad copter with camera and an AeroSIM RC flight simulator along with their course material. The 18-hour course is capped off with a "Top Gun" competition where participants navigate an obstacle course to determine the best pilot.
The course will take place from 6-9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays from Aug. 8-24 at the NCCC Sanborn Campus. The fee for the class is $1,499. For more information, call the NCCC workforce development office at 716-614-6236 or register at www.niagaracc.suny.edu/conted/aerial.