With FAA Rules Changing, Commercial Drone Training is Growing

January 12, 2017

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently released regulations that pave the way for expanded commercial use of drones, commonly referred to as Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). As part of the new guidelines, commercial drone pilots are now required to pass the FAA's remote pilot knowledge test, Unmanned Aircraft - General.

The Workforce Development Institute at Hudson Valley Community College is offering a comprehensive 12-hour Drones - Learn to Fly (Intro to sUAS) course that provides the hands-on skills training for aspiring professional operators, contractors, employees and hobbyists to fly drones safely and efficiently. A follow-up six-hour Remote Pilot Knowledge Test Prep course prepares students to pass the FAA certification exam required for commercial use of drones. Based on each student's flight skills and interest in employment-related opportunities, students may take the courses sequentially or individually.

Goldman Sachs Research estimates the economic impact of sUAS technology to be $100 billion in the next four years for both existing industries and emerging businesses.

"It's the next transformative technology that will literally change how business is done for many industries," according to Richard E. Bennett III, associate dean of Continuing Education, Summer Sessions and Workforce Development at Hudson Valley Community College. "There are countless applications that are expected, and we are offering the most comprehensive, up-to-date course material available, so that members of our business community can be among those who are capturing this technology's potential."

Though the two courses culminate in preparation for the FAA remote pilot knowledge test and eventual FAA certification, they are also designed to offer comprehensive insight into different types of flight systems, their capabilities, safe and legal flying practices, market opportunities and applications, and hands-on piloting skills.

Training participants will receive a quadcopter with a camera and a flight simulator, along with course materials. The Drones - Learn to Fly (Intro to sUAS) course is capped off with a "Top Gun" competition, with participants demonstrating flying skills while navigating an obstacle course.

Both courses are starting soon. For more information, e-mail WDI@hvcc.edu, or call (518) 629-4111.


Hudson Valley Community College's Corporate Programs and Workforce Development Institute provides high quality, reasonably priced programs that meet the staff training needs of the business and industry communities, and the career-skills needs of individuals. Using college adjuncts and field experts, the WDI develops and teaches customized, client-specific training programs for staff and management and provides industry-specific courses through open registration. Training is offered in traditional classroom, online, and blended classroom + online formats and is also available on-site for business clients. The Workforce Development Institute's fast-track training programs help individuals attain their career-path goals and help businesses achieve higher standards and maintain a competitive edge.

Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 80 degree and certificate programs in four schools: Business; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Science; and Liberal Arts and Sciences; and an Educational Opportunity Center for academic and career training. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of nearly 12,000 students, and is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and workforce training. Hudson Valley has more than 75,000 alumni.

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