FILE: Isac (CQ) Williams, a student at Sinclair Community College, takes photos during a dedication held Monday for Sinclair Community College’s National UAS Training and Certification Center. The 28,000 square foot facility will provide space for research, development and hands on use of vehicles. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Sinclair partners with North Carolina college on drone program

Colleges in Ohio and North Carolina —the two states that have long taken credit for the start of aviation —are coming together to better the future of flight.

Sinclair Community College, based in the Wright Brothers’ hometown of Dayton, is partnering with Elizabeth City State University, which is just an hour away from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina where the famous siblings made their first flight.

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Sinclair and Elizabeth City State will work together to enhance training, education, research and development of unmanned aerial systems, more commonly known as drones. The university is a “leader in aviation science and education” in North Carolina and across the U.S., according to Sinclair.

“The partnership with Sinclair will begin an era of collaborative research focusing on the unmanned traffic management of drones,” said Kuldeep Rawat, Elizabeth City State’s aviation program director and dean of the fields of Science, Technology and Mathematics.

The two institutions will host a joint exercise in June that will integrate the Sinclair and ECSU campuses by leveraging UAS training software housed at both schools and the Live, Virtual, Constructive (LVC) capabilities developed by Simlat and Sinclair.

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The exercise will include live manned and UAS flights in Ohio and virtual UAS operations conducted from the Sinclair and Elizabeth City State campuses and deployed Sinclair ground control vehicles to conduct an emergency response scenario, according to the colleges. The exercise will contribute to Sinclair’s on an Ohio Federal Research Network contract spearheaded by the University of Cincinnati, according to Sinclair.

Sinclair is home to a national UAS training and certification center and both the community college and Elizabeth City State will begin offering bachelor’s degrees in unmanned aerial systems this fall. The UAS industry is expected to create 100,000 new jobs in the U.S. in its first 10 years of commercial use, according to Sinclair.

“The partnership between Sinclair and ESCU comes at a great time with both institutions,” said Andrew Shepherd, Sinclair executive director and chief scientist for UAS.

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