April 10, 2018 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College is responding to area demand with courses on piloting drones.
Popular with photographers and video production teams, drones -- technically called unmanned aircraft systems -- are increasingly being used in agriculture, real estate development and other fields.
“We know that a growing and diverse field of industries in West Michigan is relying on drones for a variety of applications, and they’ll need people with piloting skills to fill jobs,” said Julie Parks, GRCC's executive director of Workforce Training. “We want to help people gain these in-demand skills in a field that is only going to keep growing.”
Parks said her department received requests for a training program from area residents and employers. GRCC will offer two drone courses at the Leslie M. Tassell M-TEC facility in Grand Rapids.
One is an introductory class for people with little to no experience with drones and will work to prepare them for the remote pilot commercial certification test issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. The class covers types of drones and how they can be used, legal issues, maintenance, federal regulations, piloting skills and best safety practices.
The 18-hour class, offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, has sections starting on April 17 and May 22. You can register online.
The second class is for people who have gained practical flying skills and are seeking commercial certification. Topics covered will include navigational charts, aviation weather sources, and emergency procedures as students prepare for the federal remote pilot certification exam.
The six-hour class is planned for May 8 and 10, and again in June 12 and 14. You can register online.
Both courses are taught by a certified instructor and include hands-on training and practice.
Grand Rapids Community College has been offering educational opportunities in West Michigan for more than 100 years. Established in 1914, the college offers degree courses, certification and training programs, and workshops and personal enrichment classes. Offerings are held on GRCC’s downtown Grand Rapids campus, and at several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties, as well as through distance learning.