Unmanned Safety Institute, Great Lakes partner for UAV training

By Emily Aasand | January 22, 2015

The Unmanned Safety Institute has partnered with Center Mass Inc., a Michigan-based law enforcement weapons and tactical training provider, to bring unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to the Great Lakes region.

“UAS serve to be a force multiplier for police and first responders,” said Alex Mirot, USI president. “Our training helps public servants develop the skills necessary to use UAS to protect and save lives and achieve mission success.”

USI is a professional training organization that targets operators, proponents, and manufactures—all of which are focused on improving and ensuring the safe operations of UAS in the national airspace.

“We wanted to do something that was not necessarily focused on a specific system, but rather focus on the safe operations and inclusion with other aircraft in the airspace,” said Brandon Blackburn, director at USI.

The USI team is staffed with four, on-site, fully certified U.S. Federal Aviation Administration pilots with both commercial and public pilot backgrounds and offers a curriculum with courses ranging from a one-day workshop to a five-day certification course. Classes are available either in classroom or online.

“Our training is geared to target everyone from brand new users to people who have previous experience,” said Blackburn. “All of our courses are designed to include the human focus, where we create UAS professionals that have safe attitudes in training. We also offer courses where we train people how to conduct training on their own so they can make a business out of it.”

The USI team said since October, they’ve seen the demand for its safety workshops grow exponentially.

“We’ll have companies call us who already have in-house capabilities that they’ve started testing and researching or companies who want to learn more applications of UAVs, in all, they want to make sure safety is a top priority,” said Blackburn. 

CMI will be the exclusive provider of USI’s law enforcement and public safety curriculum for an area that includes Ohio, Illinois, Indian, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ontario, Canada. The state of Michigan, has a statewide approval for law enforcement to pursue and begin incorporating the use of UAS.

“As a leading law enforcement firearms and tactics training provider, CMI has fielded numerous inquiries in recent months from police agencies seeking UAS training,” said Jeff Felts, president of CMI. “We see this technology as a natural fit and progression of our business model and our mission to help our clients save lives.”