Interested in a federal career? The FAA is hiring drone pilots

GAO FAA drone integration

Do you want to turn your drone flying experience into a career with the US government? The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is hiring specialists to manage flight plans and test equipment to ensure drones are flown safely.

Two full-time vacancies for “Airway Transportation Systems Specialists (UAS Operators)” are currently open at the FAA in Flight Program Operations, Aircraft Operations Directorate.

The specialized experience that the FAA is looking for includes drone pilot experience (both manual and autonomous aircraft qualify); familiarity with command and control (C2) systems; an understanding of the spatial coordinate systems, contours, and other map elements; as well as experience of working with geophysical instruments such as magnetometers, electromagnetic sensors, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), or other geophysical sensors.

Some of the duties that you can expect to perform at this job are:

  • Mapping out multi-dimensional spaces and rotating UAS devices to maintain the correct spatial relations between each object
  • Planning and executing flight plans in accordance with 14 CFR Part 107 and other applicable Parts (61, 91, 135, 145) to include FAA rules, regulations, policies, and procedures
  • Conducting preflight planning to include mission briefings, analyzing weather forecasts, checking Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs), Special Instructions (SPINs), and airspace requirements
  • Analyzing aerial photographs, and executing customer mission requirements through the successful delivery of full motion video and/or specialized data
  • Performing drone equipment testing, troubleshooting, and maintenance, including post-mission reporting requirements
  • Determining which drone platform (e.g. fixed wing or rotorcraft) should be used for a mission based on the type of information to be collected during the mission and other performance meters such as range, attitude, and endurance

You can find the complete details of this vacancy here and apply by September 22, 2022, to qualify. Just remember that the salary figure mentioned in the vacancy is pre-locality pay, which could be quite significant in areas with higher costs of living. Ultimately, a career with the US government comes with a range of benefits for both the employee and their family, and if you possess a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate and Third Class Medical Certificate, it might just turn out to be a great opportunity.

Read: 7 DJI drone models approved for FAA’s Remote ID mandate

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