Sinclair National UAS Training and Certification Center Unveils Leading-Edge Capabilities for Unmanned Aerial Systems

Dayton, OH –Sinclair College cut the ribbon Monday, Aug. 24, officially opening the doors of the National UAS Training and Certification Center, a $5 million investment that provides new capabilities for students seeking the opportunity to work with UAS technologies in an immersive and hands-on environment, supported by leading-edge technologies and instruction.

"With unmanned aerial systems (UAS), we're looking at an industry that's forecast to yield more than 100,000 jobs nationally and an economic impact of $82 billion over the next 10 years. The opening of the National UAS Training and Certification Center at Sinclair puts the Dayton region at the forefront of what's shaping up to be the next step in aviation technology," said Steve Johnson, President of Sinclair College. "This is an exciting time for the college and the UAS industry, as we are seeing the culmination of several years of hard work, industry partnerships, and state support creating a sustainable future for this growing industry."

The features include the renovation of 28,000 sq. ft. of Building 13, which houses state-of-the-art learning spaces, a wind tunnel, engine testing capabilities, an expanded simulation lab, sensors and avionics stations, along with advanced and additive manufacturing machinery. The facility will also support the integration of the college's manned aviation programs, housing two simulation training devices and resources for the college's airframe and power plant (A&P) mechanic program. The Center will be one of the only programs in the nation to provide training for both manned aviation and UAS.

Since 2008, Sinclair College has been at the forefront of UAS innovation, creating partnerships, developing leading curriculum, and investing significantly to establish a nationally prominent program dedicated to meeting the workforce needs of the growing UAS industry.

"Wilbur Wright, one of the famous brothers from Dayton who invented manned aviation, said to be successful, begin life in Ohio. Today, Ohio and Dayton are again at the center of a new generation of aviation, unmanned aircraft systems, thanks to the National UAS Certification and Training Center at Sinclair College," said Brian Wynne, President and CEO of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). "Sinclair is providing Ohioans with access to innovative instruction and research to help them launch fulfilling careers in the burgeoning field of UAS, which according to an AUVSI report is forecast to create thousands of jobs across Ohio and the nation during the next several years. So, to be successful, begin life in Ohio, and to be successful in UAS, begin your career at Sinclair."

New additive and advanced manufacturing equipment allow for the design, production and testing of UAS and related components, taking ideas from the initial planning phase to a completed, functioning prototype. The UAS Simulation Lab features three industry-leading simulation systems, AEgis Technologies, Simlat LTD. and L-3 Link, in a 20-seat lab that has the ability to connect to existing Sinclair ground control stations. Indoor flight facilities, including the 35,000 sq. ft. UAS Indoor Flight Range and the Indoor Flying Pavilion, opening in November 2015, provide space for flight training and the testing of prototypes and sensors.

Following the release of $4 million by the Ohio Controlling Board this spring, matched by $1 million of internal Sinclair investment, the college moved forward with the goal to advance the vision of unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Sinclair College is recognized as a national leader in UAS, supported by world-class partnerships, cutting-edge technology, and custom training programs designed to drive the expansion of the UAS industry. Sinclair's curriculum focuses on real-world applications of emerging UAS and sensor technologies through classroom and online instruction, simulation and hands-on vehicle operations.