Kansas State University’s Polytechnic Campus Receives First FAA Approval For UAS Commercial Flight Training

SALINA, KAN. – Kansas State University’s polytechnic campus has set a new precedent in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry, becoming the first entity in the United States to receive approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide UAS commercial flight training to both students and outside companies.

The authorization, which is referred to as a Section 333 exemption, allows Kansas State Polytechnic to create and conduct an extensive flight training program for unmanned aircraft systems. Previously, motion picture and television filming and aerial data collection have been given permission for commercial UAS operations; however, the approval has been limited to only training internally and in these two mission-specific areas alone. Kansas State Polytechnic’s authorization is open to students both internal and external and is not restricted to any one particular application.

Students are required to have a private pilot certificate with instrument rating and will need a specific number of unmanned flight hours to complete the program. Just as professional pilot students can become certified flight instructors teaching their peers to fly, once a UAS student reaches a certain rating, he or she can act as an instructor in entry-level flight courses.

Another distinction of this FAA approval is being able to provide flight training to commercial partners.

To learn more about enrollment in the unmanned aircraft systems program, contact Michael Most at 785-826-2681 or mtmost@k-state.edu. To inquire about commercial flight training, contact Kurt Carraway at 785-826-2624 or kcarraway@k-state.edu.

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