Drones are becoming popular in a number of industries from real estate to photography, and so the demand for those licensed to operate a commercial drone is increasing.
To meet demand, Lehigh Carbon Community College introduced its first classes on commercial drone certification last year.
After a successful initial run, the community college will be hosting a second series of drone classes on campus this semester.
Richard Wilt, dean of the School of Communication Arts, Computers and Technology at LCCC, which is offering the classes, said the classes are being offered because demand is growing.
He said the two classes held last semester attracted about 20 students. Since the demand continues, two more will be offered starting in February.
These two-credit courses in “small unmanned air craft systems” will help prepare students to take the Federal Aviation Administration Remote Pilot Certification test to obtain a license for the commercial use of drones.
JUST THE BEGINNING
The classes will be held Fridays from Feb. 9 to May 4 in the morning and Thursdays from Feb. 15 to May 3 in the evenings. They will be taught by commercial drone operator John Fries of Lehigh Valley Drones at the school’s Schnecksville campus.
The courses will include classroom training and field work.
Wilt said these classes likely are only the beginning of what LCCC will be offering.
With these initial classes, the school is simply giving students the knowledge of how to properly operate a drone.
“We let them decide how they are going to use it,” Wilt said.
In the future, drone courses may be integrated into coursework in other disciplines so that students can learn the different ways drones can be used in a variety of commercial applications.
“Drones are used by insurance adjustors, commercial and residential Realtors,” Wilt said. “Drones can be used in land development or for building inspections … environmental biology.”
Wilt said the first coursework will be developed in drone photography and videography, with new courses being developed based on demand.