First-ever drone pilot class to begin

With drones easier to buy, cheaper and at the top of a lot of people’s wish lists this holiday season, experts predict consumers will buy more drones this year than ever before. But since there are safety and legal concerns  Florida State College of Jacksonville and the Fire Academy of the South have put together a special class to get people registered and certified to fly drones safely.

The new classes begin with a free expo Saturday morning at FSCJ’s downtown campus.

Industries from real estate to construction are using drones for areal videography. Even search and rescue teams have used drones. 

But drone pilots need to be careful because drones can be dangerous and you also have to make sure that you are not breaking the law by operating them.

"They should not be regarded as toys," Fire Academy Chief Sheldon Reed said. "What the public needs to know is: Do they need to register the drone? Where can they fly the drone? Do I need to be licensed to fly the drone?" 

Federal regulations keep changing, which is one of the reasons why the 12-hour class is being offered. It's the first of its kind in northeast Florida and will help people pass the Federal Aviation Administration test to get a drone pilot's license.

The drone expo is from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday in ATC Room T140 at FSCJ’s downtown campus, 101 West State Street. It's for people who already have drones or those considering getting or giving one this year.

For information, email infofas@fscj.edu.


About the Author: