The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) marketplace is experiencing significant growth that is translating into a need for a large number of qualified UAS pilots to support this growth. The Ohio State University (Ohio State) has a long track record of preparing manned pilots for careers in aviation and is focused on ensuring that their UAS pilots are industry-ready upon graduation. Ohio State has identified the Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) Certification Structure for UAS pilots as the most recognized and respected, independent source for verified UAS pilot knowledge, experience, and proficiency. USI’s incremental Certification Structure provides potential employers with immediate insight on each pilot’s actual and verified UAS knowledge, experience, and proficiency.
Brian Strzempkowski, the Assistant Director of Ohio State’s Center for Aviation Studies stated, “Commercial UAS is a rapidly developing industry, and careers will exist for remote pilots in areas we have not thought of yet. While it is hard to prepare for all possibilities, we know that safety will be the most critical aspect to operating the unmanned aircraft. USI’s program focuses on instilling safety as a fundamental concept in its remote pilot training and that is something that our students can take with them for life. We believe that having a safety-first mindset will allow our students to advance in their careers and be productive leaders in this emerging industry.”
“We are honored to partner with The Ohio State University on this important initiative”, added USI President, Josh Olds. “Ohio State’s incredible reputation in Academics in general, and specifically within the collegiate aviation community, speaks volumes as to their commitment to producing industry ready graduates. USI’s knowledge and experience working with industry on setting “Best Practices” for UAS operations will ensure that Ohio State’s UAS program produce the kind of applicants that are needed as UAS operations continue to scale in both size and complexity”.
Ohio State will be offering the USI Safety Certification Level 1 and 2 beginning in the Fall of 2021 and plan to expand into other more complex ground and flight offerings in the future. The State of Ohio, Dept. of Education recently recommended USI’s Safety Certification Level 1 and Visual Line of Sight System Operations for inclusion to the 2022-2023 Industry Recognized Credential List at 6 points each.