UA offers drone pilot training course

Photo: UA College of Engineering

Prospective drone pilots can now enroll in a training course to learn how to fly safely and legally, while preparing to pass the FAA’s drone pilot certification exam.

The University of Arkansas Global Campus has partnered with the College of Engineering to offer a four-session drone pilot training course beginning later this month.

The Drone Pilot Training course will meet every other Saturday from Jan. 20 through March 3, according to a news release. The course cost is $699 per person. The fee does not include the cost for the FAA Remote Pilot Certificate Examination. Students must provide their own personal drone. The class is open to anyone, but University of Arkansas faculty, staff and current students will receive a 10 percent discount.

“This course is the first step to becoming a professional, certified remote pilot,” said Richard Ham, senior associate director of the Master of Science in Operations Management program in the College of Engineering. “It was developed for people interested in using this technology for work or commercial ventures, but it will also be valuable to hobbyists who want to fly safely and legally.”

Ham, who will teach the class, joined the UA after retiring from the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Homeland Security. He teaches several courses, including unmanned aircraft systems. He also organized the state’s first Unmanned Aircraft Systems Summit and is leading efforts to establish an Arkansas chapter of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.

From the UA:

Course participants will learn to use unmanned aircraft to perform video and mapping tasks. They also will learn about data processing software, flight weather data, flight planning and map reading.

The course runs from 9 a.m. to noon on all four class dates. Participants will meet in a classroom at the Global Campus in Rogers, 3300 Market St., on Jan. 20 and Feb. 17. They will participate in an online webinar on Feb. 3, and they will meet March 3 at the Arkansas Agricultural Research and Extension Center on Garland Avenue or a similar location for field testing.

» Read more about the course or register online