ECSU Teams with Ohio Institution to Expand Drone Training, Innovation

ECSU Teams with Ohio Institution to Expand Drone Training, Innovation

Elizabeth City State University is teaming with a drone certification school in Dayton, Ohio, where the Wright brothers experimented in their bicycle shop before flying in Kitty Hawk.

The college plans to hold joint virtual exercises and share expertise with the Sinclair College National Unmanned Aerial Systems Training and Certification Center in Dayton, according to a release from the university.

ECSU began offering drone courses in 2017 as part of its four-year aviation degree and plans to offer a four-year degree in unmanned aircraft beginning this fall. The school offers the only four-year aviation degree in North Carolina. The campus sits about 50 miles from hill where Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the first manned, powered airplane in 1903.

Sinclair College is at the forefront of UAS innovation and training, Kuldeep Rawat, ECSU’s aviation program director, said in a news release.

“They are the top in their state and a leader globally,” Rawat said.

The two institutions plan to offer a joint virtual exercise in June in one of the first ventures. The exercise will include live and virtual drone flights from the Sinclair and ECSU campuses as part of an emergency response scenario.

In 2016, there were 42,000 commercial or government drones, according to a report by the Federal Aviation Administration. The number grew to beyond 110,000 by the end of 2017 and could exceed 400,000 by 2022. The FAA forecasts more than 300,000 drone pilots by 2022.

Nearly half of commercial drones are used in real estate photography, about a quarter for utility inspections and 17 percent for agricultural applications, the report said. Government agencies are increasingly using drones for search and rescue and storm damage surveys.

Shared by: The Virginian Pilot

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