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    Demand for Drone Operation Education Increases in US

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    The rocketing popularity of drones is creating a new educational trend in the United States, as applicants rush to technical universities to learn drone operation. Amid the ongoing discussion about the rules of drone use, the devices have become one of the most popular gifts in holiday seasons.

    MOSCOW, December 26 (Sputnik) — Around 100 US colleges and universities have launched programs instructing people how to operate drones, as the popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles goes from strength to strength, NBC News reported.

    According to the media outlet, some institutions have reported year-over-year enrollment growth of over 1,000 percent. The unmanned aviation program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, one of the country's largest aviation schools, grew from 11 to more than 200 students in just three years.

    "The benefits this industry will provide, I think, are just going to be exponential," a drone piloting student at the University of North Dakota told NBC.

    The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has started a drone safety campaign making a video named "Know Before You Fly" explaining the rules of flying and promoting drone-operating lessons. "The thing that we have to avoid is any opportunity for aircraft to come into contact with one another because that is an extremely dangerous situation for everyone involved," the head of the FAA Michael Huerta told NBC News.

    According to Wall Street Journal, some drone programs offered at US universities would be short without a certificate of higher education. Programs of this type would cost $24,500. Full-time programs would last four years, with a $175,000 tuition fee.

    More than a million drones have been sold in the past few years, becoming one of the most popular gifts in holiday seasons.

    The potential use of drones is growing in many spheres. The FAA has allowed a number of film production companies to use unmanned aerial vehicles, according to the Washington Post. In August, Google announced it was developing a delivery system using drones.

    However, not everyone is keen on the use of drones – over 40 percent of US citizens asked expressed distrust over the use of commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles, a poll by Associated Press-GfK revealed earlier this month. The poll followed a proposal by the FAA to impose regulations allowing the wider use of small drones for commercial purposes.

    Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are aircraft either controlled by pilots from the ground or functioning autonomously following pre-programmed routes.

    There have been a number of near-collisions of unmanned aerial vehicles with aircraft. According to an FAA document cited by the Washington Post, four people have been killed in recent years after a drone crashed into them.

    Tags:
    education, drones, US Federal Aviation Administration, Michael Huerta, United States
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