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Safety 2018, 4(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/safety4020015

Establishing Training and Certification Criteria for Visual Observers of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

Department of Psychology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
Received: 1 December 2017 / Revised: 11 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 6 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Aviation Safety)
Full-Text   |   PDF [430 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]   |  

Abstract

Safe integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) into airspace generally occupied by manned aircraft and other aviation stakeholders is a pressing global challenge. In the United States, efforts are being made to integrate small and large UAS into the National Airspace System (NAS). Whereas regulations for the civil operation of small UAS (25 kg and lighter) have already been adopted, those for larger unmanned systems are still being crafted. Thus, a two-part mixed methods study was conducted to examine three pivotal issues in the safe operation of large UAS: (1) What kind of visual observer skills are needed to execute safe UAS operations; (2) Should visual observers involved in UAS operations receive formal training; and (3) Should visual observers be required to pass a certification exam? In the first phase, subject matter experts identified various vigilance, trajectory estimation and communication skills that were vital to performing visual observer duties successfully and elaborated on their training regimens. In the second phase, survey participants were approximately evenly split on the need for formal classroom/online and hands-on visual observer training. Furthermore, participants generally favored visual observers having to pass a classroom/online certification exam, whereas they were against a practical (hands-on) exam. View Full-Text
Keywords: aviation; safety; UAS; unmanned aircraft system; Drone; visual observer; training; certification; integration; National Airspace System aviation; safety; UAS; unmanned aircraft system; Drone; visual observer; training; certification; integration; National Airspace System
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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    Link: https://goo.gl/ZNy1Mu
    Description: Supplementary materials include transcripts of subject matter expert interviews (Phase 1) and survey data (Phase 2).
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Dolgov, I. Establishing Training and Certification Criteria for Visual Observers of Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Safety 2018, 4, 15.

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