SPC classes prepare students for new FAA rules regarding drones


The Workforce Institute at St. Petersburg College is offering classes that will educate students about new Federal Aviation Administration rules for non-hobbyist, small unmanned aircraft (UAS) operations or drones.

SPC-Workforce-drone-classesThese rules – Part 107 of the Federal Aviation Regulations – cover a broad spectrum of commercial uses for drones weighing less than 55 pounds, to include certification requirements for UAS pilots.

Effective in August 2016, to become a UAS remote pilot, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Be able to read, speak, write, and understand English (exceptions may be made if the person is unable to meet one of these requirements for a medical reason, such as hearing impairment)
  • Be in a physical and mental condition to safely operate a small UAS
  • Pass the initial aeronautical knowledge exam at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center

To operate the controls of a small UAS under Part 107, you need a remote pilot airman certificate with a small UAS rating or must be under the direct supervision of a person who holds such a certificate.

With these new FAA rules, it is important for all drone owners to understand that they are, indeed, aviators. There is a need to understand the responsibility of ownership, the need for safety and the respect for privacy when operating a drone either as a hobbyist or for commercial purposes.

Arlon Johnson and Kristina Bucklew flying the DJI Inspire during a recent UAS Overview class.
Drone classes at SPC

With growing interest in and use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or drones, the Workforce Institute has developed a five-day UAS Pilot Certificate Prep Course that will be held on July 18-22, 2016.

This course is designed to prepare students to pass the FAA Remote Pilot Certificate exam.

The course will be offered through the Workforce Institute’s Learn to Earn program and will include UAS regulations, flight operations and restrictions, emergency procedures, crew resource management, radio communication procedures, aeronautical decision-making and judgement, and maintenance and pre-flight inspection procedures.  This course also includes 6-8 hours of hands-on UAS flight training.

Additionally, the college is offering courses including UAS Maintenance and Repair, Ground Pilot Training, UAS and the Law, and Standards and Regulations. For more information and to be included in this 5-day UAS Pilot Certificate Prep course, please call Fred Tucker at 727-791-2409.

Drone training = job opportunities

Career and business opportunities with UAS training include entrepreneurship, military UAS pilot, firefighter, disaster relief, search and rescue, law enforcement, oil and gas operations, border patrol, agriculture, package delivery, forestry, engineering, computer science, real estate, film and photography, and other industries.

Over the next 10 years, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is expected to create more than 100,000 jobs with an economic impact of $82 billion. Florida stands to benefit more than almost any other state as new regulations will bring 3,000 new jobs and $632 million in economic impact to the state by 2017, according to the  Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

3 thoughts on “SPC classes prepare students for new FAA rules regarding drones

  1. The two drone classes I have taken at SPC (and more to come) have been out standing. I highly recommend the overview class for anyone regardless if you are treating this has a hobby or are looking at making money flying unmanned aircraft.

  2. @James Johnston How can you become professional drone pilot? I know there are some FPV competitions but it doesn’t sound like a serious job… any input for a drone lover? 🙂

    1. According to the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, over the next 10 years, UAS is expect to create more than 100,000 jobs with an economic impact of $82 billon. Florida stands to benefit more than almost any other state as new regulations would bring 3,000 new jobs and $632 million in economic impact to the state by 2017. The use of UAS is a rapidly growing industry.

      Here are some uses for UAS:

      Aerial photography, including for: real estate, marketing, advertising, and others
      Power line inspection
      Search and rescue
      Shark patrols over beaches
      Power plant smokestack inspections
      Agriculture spraying and survey
      Law enforcement
      Border patrol
      Payload Operator (Supply Chain)
      Repair and Maintenance Technicians

      If you have any other questions regarding UAS courses offered through St. Petersburg College’s Workforce Institute, please contact (727) 341-4445 or workforce@spcollege.edu.

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