NIAS and SkyOp Partner on Drone Workforce Development Training Program

The FAA-Designated Nevada UAS Test Site and the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) have entered into a partnership with New York based training and education provider, SkyOp LLC, to offer drone training programs and courseware to the West Coast.  Las Vegas will serve as the West Coast affiliate training center to proactively prepare and train the next generation of the workforce to answer future demand for highly specialized drone-enabled employment opportunities.

The collaboration will give businesses, educational institutions, and workforce development programs the ability to offer a knowledge-to-action curriculum that will create tremendous opportunity within the commercial drone industry and emerging technologies. The NIAS industry expertise combined with SkyOp’s proprietary courseware, Intro to sUAS and Remote Pilot Knowledge Test Prep provides a turnkey course designed to give students all the vital skills and information needed to start piloting drones safely and legally.

“We are excited about the relationship with the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems and expanding their sUAS training capabilities and our growth together throughout the Western US.,” said Brian Pitre, Managing Member of SkyOp.

Intro to sUAS is a hands-on flight training course done indoors to provide an environment where students can become proficient at basic UAS flight maneuvers before moving outdoors where natural and weather elements become a factor. Remote Pilot Knowledge Test Prep prepares students to successfully pass the comprehensive FAA knowledge test required for certification and commercial use of drones.

“The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development is pleased to support the addition of these vitally important workforce training programs to support Governor Sandoval’s vision of the New Nevada. With this partnership in place, Nevadans will have one more opportunity to access state-of-the-art UAV and drone pilot training which allow this technology to be implemented safely and in compliance with FAA requirements,” said Tom Wilczek, Aerospace and Defense Liaison at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

“UAS workforce development is the engine that will grow the Nevada UAS Industry.  You can’t grow an unmanned aviation industry without creating a highly trained pilot workforce.  These highly trained pilots will be critical to safely integrating unmanned aviation into the National Airspace System (NAS).  The exponential growth of the UAS Industry with the need to produce a highly skilled pilot workforce, both put great pressure on workforce development endeavors and this partnership will continue to fuel the growth of the Nevada UAS Industry.  We look forward to working with any entity that helps Nevada UAS workforce development initiatives,” said Dr. Chris Walach, Director of the FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test Site.

SkyOp LLC was recently one of six finalists and awarded an investment of $250,000 from the GENIUS NY Competition, a business accelerator program funded by Empire State Development.

Courses will be offered beginning in August 2017. Please contact NIAS for more information.

About the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development:  Created during the 2011 session of the Nevada Legislature, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development is the result of a collaborative effort between the Nevada Legislature and Governor Brian Sandoval to restructure economic development in the state. GOED’s role is to promote a robust, diversified and prosperous economy in Nevada, to stimulate business expansion and retention, encourage entrepreneurial enterprise, attract new businesses and facilitate community development. More information on the Governor’s Office of Economic Development can be viewed at

About the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS):  The Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) and FAA-designated Nevada Unmanned Aviation Test Site leads the growth of the Nevada Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS) Industry through business teaming relationships, collaborating with primary research institutions on UAS research and development, and enhancing the Nevada UAS Industry knowledge base to attract new and permanent business and create jobs in the State of Nevada.   Learn more at

About SkyOp LLC: SkyOp sUAS Education creates training experiences that prepare the American workforce for new jobs and business models created by emerging technologies. By providing comprehensive courses and unparalleled educator training, SkyOp empowers organizations to lead innovation by offering a nationally recognized high-tech curriculum. In addition to creating turnkey proprietary courses, SkyOp works with educational institutions, public safety organizations, and businesses of all sizes to develop custom training solutions. Learn more at

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