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Hinds Community College selected for FAA training program

The Federal Aviation Administration has selected the Hinds Community College Unmanned Aircraft Systems Program for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Program, or the UAS-CTI.

“The goal of the Hinds Community College Unmanned Aerial Systems program is to be a leader in providing the best training and education for the future unmanned aviation aircrews of this nation,” said Jay Eads, director of the UAS program at Hinds. “We look forward to teaming with the FAA in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Initiative to meet that goal.”

The FAA’s UAS-CTI program recognizes institutions that prepare students for careers in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones. In order to qualify for the initiative, schools must offer a bachelor’s or associate degree in UAS or a degree with a minor, concentration or certificate in UAS. Schools must provide curriculum covering various aspects of UAS training, including hands-on flight practice, maintenance, uses, applications, privacy concerns, safety and federal policies concerning UAS.

“Our students are seeing the tremendous potential with UAS technology, with everything from power line inspections to the expansive Precision Agriculture program itself, which gives them a leg up on FAA certification and career advancement,” said Brad McCullouch, district director of Commercial Aviation programs. “This program adds a dimension to our commercial aviation program that allows Hinds Community College to provide the full spectrum of career opportunities for our students.”

At Hinds, the UAS concentration offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree plus industry and government certifications. The program prepares students for careers as operators and/or coordinators of various fixed-wing and multi-rotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV). The college maintains partnerships in the public and private sectors to provide primary and practical flight training to ensure proper certification with the FAA.

“This is a well-deserved honor for our Unmanned Aircraft Systems program,” said Dr. Chad Stocks, vice president for Workforce and Economic Development. “Since its beginning, the Hinds Community College Unmanned Aircraft Systems program has demonstrated that these airborne systems can do the job safely, at a lower cost with a higher degree of precision than any other tool. And as their capability grows, so will demand for their services. The Hinds Community College Unmanned Aircraft Systems program is ready to grow and meet those demands. We are very proud of what they’ve accomplished for our community and teaming up with the FAA UAS-CTI program is another step upwards to the future.”