The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced a new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI) that allows educational institutions and the agency to work collaboratively with students who pursue careers in UAS.
“Providing our nation’s youth with educational opportunities is a major commitment of this administration,” said FAA Administrator Stephen M. Dickson. “We see these institutions opening doors for students seeking careers in this exciting, growing field of aviation.”
The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 required the agency to establish a UAS collegiate training initiative program. It also called for a process to designate an association of public, two-year institutions of higher education as Community and Technical College Centers of Excellence in Small UAS System Technology Training.
The eligibility guidelines for the institutions to participate are:
- School type: Not-for-profit, two- or four-year, post-secondary educational institutions.
- Accreditation: Must be institutionally accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
- Degree/Certification: Schools must currently offer a bachelors or associates degree with a minor, concentration, or certificate in UAS.
Post-secondary institutions with UAS curricula seeking recognition as a UAS-CTI can now apply for this distinction. Once requests for participation are received, the FAA will send potential applicants an initial questionnaire to further evaluate their eligibility for the program.
Participating institutions will work with the FAA, other participants, general industry, local governments, law enforcement, and regional economic development entities to address labor force needs. This collaboration will ensure that UAS-CTI school graduates have the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a successful career in a UAS-related field.
In addition to advancing the FAA-UAS goals, these new UAS-CTIs move forward the agency’s Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) efforts for students. The program also builds on the FAA’s efforts to expand the aviation workforce.