U.S. approves Sinclair College for flying unmanned aircraft

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U.S. approves Sinclair College for flying unmanned aircraft

Springfield News Sun — Sinclair Community College has received federal approval to offer hands-on flying of small unmanned aircraft, a key step in the college’s expanding effort to train students, law enforcement, emergency first-responders and others in operating the airplanes. The Federal Aviation Administration informed the college Thursday that the FAA had approved Sinclair’s application for approval to fly the unmanned aircraft at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, just outside the city of Springfield.

The hands-on flying opportunity will complement the training simulators Sinclair unveiled in March for flying unmanned aerial vehicles, plus the UAV classroom training that the college began last July, said Deb Norris, Sinclair’s vice president for workforce development and corporate services.

Dayton is trying to develop itself as a nationally recognized center of unmanned aerial systems, which are the UAVs combined with their information-gathering sensor systems.

Sinclair is working with community leaders to be a center of UAV training. The school will host a two-day UAV and sensors industry conference, beginning on Tuesday.

Under the FAA-approved certificate of authorization, a Sinclair instructor will be permitted to let students fly either of the school’s unmanned aerial vehicles within range of sight, in an area the size of several football fields at Springfield’s airport near where a state Air National Guard base is located, Sinclair officials said.

“Sinclair’s leadership in the aviation and aerospace industries, coupled with Springfield’s Air National Guard base, make the city the ideal choice to test this cutting-edge technology,” said U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

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