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Auburn launches first FAA-approved UAS flight school

AUBURN, Alabama – Auburn University is positioned to become a key training center for commercial operators of unmanned aircraft as it launches the nation’s first FAA-authorized flight school for those piloting the aerial systems.

Auburn’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School represents the latest chapter in the university’s longstanding involvement in aviation, and the program is getting started at a time when commercial interest in drones, as they’re often called, is surging. The Federal Aviation Authority approved Auburn’s request in April.

“Having been involved in aviation for 80-plus years, it’s just natural for us to move into the next phase of aviation, the unmanned aircraft systems,” said Bill Hutto, director of the Auburn University Aviation Center. “The fields these craft could be used in is limited only by the imagination – engineering, building science, construction, forestry, agriculture. There’s going to be a big demand for them, and the FAA, by its own admission, is behind the curve on this.”

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