Embry-Riddle offers USI’s UAS certificates in Florida

By Emily Aasand | April 15, 2015

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach announced that it will be offering the Unmanned Safety Institute’s small unmanned safety certification training to high school students and teachers throughout Florida. The training certificate offering is part of Florida’s Career and Professional Education Act that was implemented to provide students with cutting-edge training and earned certifications that develop skillsets required of various high-skill industry jobs.

“Embry-Riddle is excited about partnering with USI to share the importance of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) safety with our students and instructors,” said Colleen Conklin, associate professor and director of Embry-Riddle’s Gaetz Aerospace Institute. “As this emerging industry moves at warp speed, we must not forget the importance of safety operations when handling and operating unmanned aircraft systems.”

“Embry-Riddle has a huge credibility in the aviation industry and having a partnership with them adds further credibility to our position in the industry,” said Brandon Blackburn, executive director of USI.  “But, being able to provide this training to high schools and colleges where the upcoming generation of UAS operators will be entering the workforce, was key to us.”

Under the program Embry-Riddle professors will be trained to provide USI instruction and small UAS safety certification.

“We are grateful for partners like USI and Career Source of Flagler-Volusia County along with Flagler Palm Coast High School, all working together to have the first safety industry certification in unmanned aerial vehicles adopted and available by the Florida Department of Education,” said Conklin.

“We hope it [the partnership] means more recognition of the importance of safety-focused training,” said Blackburn. “At USI, we look to incorporate time-honored aviation practices and marry them up to the unique positions and operational capabilities that UAS bring along with them. We want the focus to be on safety and to have that as the foundation regardless of the situation you’re flying or the purpose.”

In February, USI began offering its UAS safety training and certification programs at the Global Robot And Drone Deployment Innovation Campus in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In addition to safety courses and certifications, USI also offers training on specific systems and scenarios, tailored to different industry’s objectives, USI said.

“As commercial UAS operations become more prevalent in the U.S., the need for credible operator safety training programs has never been higher,” Blackburn said. “GRADD has a passion for education and R&D and we are thrilled to work with them to expand our offerings and USI’s footprint.”

While the FAA continues to develop the federal regulations governing commercial UAS operations in the national airspace systems, USI’s program is the first and only commercial UAS certification recognized in the aviation insurance industry.


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