The Future of UAVs and What it Means to the A&P Mechanic
There has been a lot of news recently in the past few years about Unmanned Aerial Systems The UAS market has seen large expansions mostly due to military developments. These systems are a godsend for troops on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The usefulness of unmanned aircraft is also being realized in the US for civilian use. There are many uses for an unmanned aircraft that may include pipe line monitoring or perhaps even law enforcement. While these new systems are gaining popularity, there is some question as how they will fully integrate with existing aircraft. The FAA has been studying this for some time. Sense and avoid technologies can help keep the UAVs out of harms way while airborne. Oklahoma business and state representatives are seeking to create a UAS corridor that will allow the unmanned aircraft fly free. This type of freedom from restriction will allow various systems to work together and speed the integration of UAS into the civilian marketplace. The FAA has been leery of allowing such freedom and rightly so, the safety of the flying public is in their hands. The bottom line is, UAS are here to stay, and they are building momentum into the civilian world.
What does this mean for aircraft mechanics?
It means opportunity. Currently the industry is in need of A&Ps with strong backgrounds in the UAS field. These systems are highly technical and may require a strong avionics background. Since there are so many new systems being developed, there is a need for aircraft mechanics with engineering backgrounds or some type of testing backgrounds. Yesterday I saw a job position for a A&P student working on a UAS. What a great way to get your foot in the door to an exciting new industry. It is an exciting time to be in the UAS field and I only expect the industry to grow exponentially.
Read more about Northland Community College UAS Maintenance Program.
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