Unmanned Aircraft

Aug. 15, 2013
The UAS industry meets in Washington

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) held its AUVSI's Unmanned Systems 2013 conference the week of August 12 in Washington, D.C. Numerous leaders in this segment provided updates on civilian, government, and military use of unmanned vehicles in the air, on the ground, and on the water. Several sessions addressed topics such as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) certification and maintenance standards, along with training and certification for UAS maintainers for fixed and rotary wing UAS. One news report stated a feeling of high optimism that these remotely piloted vehicles will soon have a place in the civilian aviation segment.

The use of UAS in the civilian world has come under scrutiny, primarily as it relates to the potential violation of citizens' civil and personal rights – the big brother is watching you thought. However, as technology growth rapidly shapes our lives in ways we had no idea of a decade ago, it’s clear the use of UAS is also rapidly growing and many feel it will have a place in civil aviation. It appears around two dozen states have applied to the FAA to develop UAS test sites. Like any other developing industry, an emerging UAS civilian application should mean career opportunity in design, engineering, operations, and maintenance. There already are several aviation schools now offering UAS maintenance and operations education.

Will there be (or is there already) a civilian UAS MRO industry in the years ahead?