So, You Want to Be a Drone Pilot?
A drone, also known as an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), is an unmanned aircraft that is flown remotely. Drones range from small personal aircraft to military surveillance and attack aircraft.
According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the UAS industry will create more than 100,000 new jobs by 2025, with an economic impact of $82 billion.
Career opportunities abound for students with drone training. However, in August, the FAA released regulations requiring pilots using unmanned aerial vehicles for commercial purposes to obtain certification of training. The new small drone rule for non-hobbyists requires a person to obtain their remote pilot certificate.
Under the new rule, also known as Part 107, the person flying a drone must have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, or be directly supervised by someone with such a certificate. To qualify, you must either pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center or have an existing non-student Part 61 pilot certificate.
If you’re looking for an exciting career piloting UAVs, there are a few things to consider:
- The possible applications of UAVs are endless, but the pool of pilots is currently lacking. Potential in this career includes a number of industries already using drones today:
Oil and gas
Package and supply delivery
Photography and film
Rapid response and emergency services
Real estate and construction
- Some of the most in-demand jobs are with UAV research and manufacturing. These businesses are in need of qualified operators who are familiar with engineering processes and testing to help test their newest UAVs.
- Some schools offer both pilot training and UAV research programs. In this case, students could be involved in research throughout their training, which would result in ideal candidates for similar jobs after graduation. This type of UAV pilot is able to fly the aircraft, but also implement testing procedures that go directly into research for future UAVs.
- There are schools, such as Flamingo Air and its Worker Bee programs, that are expanding educational courses to offer multiple drone training options and encourage people to explore the industry.
“We want to be on the cutting edge of drone training,” said Dave MacDonald, Flamingo Air President. “Expanding our training programs allows us to offer more in the way of drone operation education to enthusiasts across the country.”
Further information can be found at www.flamingoair.net or by calling 513-321-7465.