FAA selects UNCW for Drone Training Initiative

The Federal Aviation Administration announced on Aug. 4 that UNCW had been selected to join its cohort of schools in UAS-CTI.
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 8:53 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Federal Aviation Administration announced on Aug. 4 that UNCW had been selected to join its cohort of schools in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI).

Per the release, the program recognizes institutions that successfully prepare students for careers in unmanned aircraft systems. Commonly referred to as drones, unmanned aircraft systems play a key role in a number of programs offered at the university.

The Geospatial Intelligence Certificate program, part of the Department of Earth and Ocean Studies, will be one of the programs to benefit from the initiative.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to join the FAA UAS-CTI and have UNCW’s myriad past and ongoing UAS efforts both in teaching and research formally recognized with this designation,” said Dr. Narcisa Pricope, who will lead the initiative within the Geospatial Intelligence Certificate program. “This designation allows us to truly embrace UAS applications and development across the curriculum beyond the departments naturally relying on them, and further strengthen our status as a leader in UAS technologies across the state.”

Per the report, since the university first acquired them in 2017, drones have become an integral part of teaching and research programs at UNCW and at the Center for Marine Science. The utilization of such systems by faculty and students has attracted funding from a variety of sources, including:

  • The North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • The N.C. General Assembly
  • N.C. Sea Grant
  • Fulbright U.S. Student Program

Per UNCW, the new designation will allow them to continue the development of curriculum based on unmanned aircraft systems. New practical applications that prepare students for drone-related jobs will also be developed.

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