Stennis Hosts Student Drone Operators
By Janel Carothers, Chief Development Officer
Hancock County Port & Harbor Commission
In November, Stennis International Airport (KHSA) in Kiln, MS, hosted students from Pearl River Community College’s (PRCC) Hancock Center.
The class was enrolled in instructor Jason Moore’s Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Technology program. The students got a rare treat as they toured KHSA’s control tower with Airport Director Kevin Carlisle, then had a ground school lesson.
The four-semester, 60-hour UAS Technology program, which began enrolling students in August 2017, is the result of a $215,250 Career and Technical Education Challenge Grant through the Mississippi Community College Board, according to Dr. Scott Alsobrooks, Vice President for Workforce and Economic Development at PRCC.
“Graduates will earn an Associate of Applied Science degree as well as their FAA Part 107 commercial unmanned-aircraft pilot’s license,” Moore said. “In fact, I’ve got a group that’s going to take their 107 in early December.”
The graduates will likely find well-paid work operating drones in the private sector, for tower inspections, law enforcement, maritime and marine-research programs and mapping and surveying for such industries as agriculture and construction.
Moore’s credentials include eight years with the U.S. Navy, former director of avionics and UAV programs at Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort, SC, and training positions in the private sector.