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St. Louis Info Session on Commercial Drone Certification

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The Electrical Connection will host an informational session on compliance with unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) regulations and is planning to offer certification training at the IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center.   The Oct. 28, 2016, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. meeting at the training center is open to any civic or business operation that uses UAVs, also called drones.   The training center is located at 2300 Hampton Ave. in South St. Louis.  The deadline to register for the event is Oct. 25, 2016 can be done by emailing damon@uaviation.us or by calling 314-484-6360.  The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and members of the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).

On July 21, 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administrator (FAA) finalized rules for UAV systems. The new rules took effect on August 29 2016, offering safety regulations for unmanned aircraft drones weighing less than 55 pounds that are conducting commercial operations.  The rule’s provisions are designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground.

The informational meeting at the training center will be conducted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) – Gateway Chapter and will be its first since the new FAA rules took effect in August 2016.  “Partnering with the Electrical Connection makes sense because the electrical industry already has the best foundation of knowledge in electrical systems – wireless and otherwise – that power this evolution in robotics,” said Dr. Damon Lercel, president of AUVSI-Gateway Chapter.  “UAVs are essentially flying electronic robots and the Electrical Connection’s IBEW/NECA membership has been engineering and installing robotics in advanced manufacturing facilities for decades.”

The IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center has been collaborating with the AUVSI-Gateway Chapter and UAViation, an unmanned aviation services and training provider, to develop a curriculum for attaining UAV certification.

“We’ve always adapted our training program to rapidly advancing technology,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.  “We did so at the dawn of the Information Age and for data storage, building automation, wireless integrated communications, electric vehicles and robotics.  It’s why we look to partner with visionary organizations like AUVSI-Gateway Chapter so our workforce is always prepared to safely and proficiently install the technology upon which our future depends.”

While the construction industry is already making extensive use of UAVs, first responders, real estate firms, agriculture, media and film makers, civil engineering and civic entities are all making use of the technology.  “It’s been a bit of a wild west out there as regulation tries to keep up with technology,” said Dr. Lercel.  “The AUVSI-Gateway Chapter was formed in 2012 in anticipation of a greater need to bring sensible rules to the operations of UAV systems.  The Electrical Connection has been a prime supporter of our mission since its inception.”

AUVSI is the world’s largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. Serving more than 7,500 members from government organizations, industry and academia, AUVSI is committed to fostering, developing, and promoting unmanned systems and robotics technologies. AUVSI members support the defense, civil and commercial sectors.  Learn more at www.auvsi.org.

St. Louis-based UAViation is a provider of unmanned aviation services and training.  Its unmanned aircraft and professional pilots provide a safe, low-cost, and environmentally friendly alternative to satellite imagery, manned aircraft, or traditional inspection techniques.  UAViation is FAA approved to commercially operate unmanned aircraft and is fully insured. Learn more at www.uaviation.us.

Members of the IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection provide safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services in Missouri and nationwide. More is online at www.electricalconnection.org.

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