RED Consultants opens UAS training academy

By Patrick C. Miller | June 23, 2016

A new training academy opening Saturday in Silver Springs, Nevada, will assist unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) pilots in obtaining remote pilot certificates needed to operate under the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) small UAS rule.

RED Consultants Inc. will officially open its UAS Training Academy at the Silver Springs Airport with a focus on infrastructure inspections, agriculture, law enforcement and search and rescue (SAR) operations. Rinaldo Brown, company CEO, said a unique aspect of the training academy is the ability to fly UAS out of the airport under a special FAA certificate of authorization (COA).

RED Consultants—headquartered in Columbia, Maryland—is a Department of Defense contractor with a Section 333 exemption that has supported unmanned operations since 2005. The company is teaming with Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) to open the UAS training academy.

“With this school, we’ll be able to actually get people certifications because of our relationship with NIAS which is providing the COA allowing us to fly at the Silver Springs Airport,” Brown said.

The academy will focus on UAS operations with rotary, fixed-wing and tethered platforms for SAR, K-9 and unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) training and support. UAS used for training will include the InstantEye quadcopter used by the military and the Sensurion fixed-wing Magpie, which was certified in Nevada and used in NASA’s UAS traffic management research.

“A lot of people are conducting training, but we wanted to train operators to get an actual job doing law enforcement, search and rescue, agriculture analysis or pipeline inspections,” Brown said.

He also believes that for a law enforcement or government agency seeking to add UAS capability, the RED Consultants UAS Training Academy is a good fit. Brown said the academy is working with a local law enforcement agency’s SAR unit on testing and training and will begin training in a few days for another law enforcement unit.

“If you’re a company or government entity that wants UAS support, you should first go with a company that has a Section 333 exemption from the FAA because it means the company has been vetted and has been operating,” he noted.


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