The Federal Aviation Administration has selected Troy University’s Unmanned Aerial Systems program for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI).
“I am extremely proud that Troy University has been accepted into this prestigious national drone collegiate studies program,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor of TROY. “We are the first institution in Alabama to join this consortium of schools offering courses in Unmanned Aerial Systems.”
The FAA’s UAS-CTI program recognizes institutions that prepare students for careers in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones. In order to qualify for the initiative, schools must offer a bachelor’s or associate degree in UAS or a degree with a minor, concentration or certificate in UAS. Qualifying institutions must provide curriculum covering various aspects of UAS training, including hands-on flight practice, maintenance, uses, applications, privacy concerns, safety and federal policies.
The initiative’s long-term goal is to collaborate with schools to deliver up-to-date UAS training that matches the requirements of the National Airspace System and helps provide qualified applicants for careers involving UAS.
“Joining this consortium with the FAA and over 70 colleges and universities across the nation will enhance TROY’s UAS minor studies,” said TROY UAS Program Coordinator Al Allenback, a retired Air Force colonel and fighter pilot. “In addition to sharing ideas and training concepts, being a part of the FAA UAS-CTI program allows Troy University a better opportunity to participate in UAS research grants. In total, being a part of this national program will help the UAS program continue to expand and prepare our students for exciting and well-paying careers that utilize drone technology.”
The UAS minor is part of the Bachelor of Applied Science in Resource Management and Technology, and falls under the auspices of the College of Arts and Sciences’ Geospatial Informatics Department. The minor can be associated with any major and includes courses in UAS piloting familiarization and FAA Part 107, remote sensing, human factors and safety, UAS design, legal and ethical considerations, and research into real-world UAS applications.
Aside from military applications, the commercial and recreational side of UAS operations is part of an $80 billion industry worldwide, Allenback said. He added that the industry is expected to create more than 100,000 new jobs in coming years.