Not just used for leisure, drones are also being utilized for business purposes.

In order to legally operate a drone for commercial use, the Federal Aviation Agency is requiring you pass the Remote Pilot Knowledge Test to attain remote pilot certification.

Commercial applications with drones was actually banned in 2007 and recently became legal again in August of 2016. 

Corning Community College is teaming up with SkyOp, a Canandaigua-based company, to offer an 18-hour course next month. It’s to make sure those flying are up to date with regulations. 

The opportunity to make money off drone-use is growing, but many people are not fully aware of its impact.

“I like to say that drones are going to change all business, and I mean that to be a profound statement,” Brian Pitre, co-founder and managing member of SkyOp, said. “It is changing businesses very, very rapidly and being adopted very quickly.”

One of the bigger market segments is the construction and architectural industry.

“As your building buildings, you can use drones to help survey the sites to be able to do progress photos, to actually aid in the whole construction process,” Pitre said.

It can also be used for crop analysis in agriculture in addition to inspections to examine towers, windmills, and bridges, but pursuing these options isn’t possible without passing the test first which is also known as the Unmanned Aircraft – General exam.

The college’s two-part course will help those interested prepare for it.

The first course is more hands-on and practices precision flying with indoor obstacles.

The class isn’t offered outside because of liability, but instructors say that the indoor obstacle is harder and once mastered, you’ll easily be able to handle the outdoors.

The second course is in a classroom and prepares the students for questions on the test. It’s not a practical exam, but instead a computerized two-hour test with 60 questions, so students will not physically have to fly a drone.

This prep isn’t mandatory to take the test, but the company says it will help because the exam is rigorous.

You also have to take it at an FAA Test Center location which SkyOp is.

Once passed, students will be issued a card certifying them to operate small unmanned aerial systems (drones).

It’s important to note that none of this applies if you are just flying recreationally.

If you do end up passing the test, the FAA requires re-certification every two years because of rapidly advancing technology to keep up with changing regulations.

Here is more information on the courses from the college’s website:


This 12-hour hands-on Intro to sUAS/Learn to Fly course teaches business and hobby pilots to fly safely and legally, understand new jobs and business models, and get the most out of their drones.

Topics covered include flying multi-rotor & fixed-wing drones, indoor flight training, diverse flight systems, maintenance, registration & certification requirements, safety, insurance, industry applications, featured systems (DJI, Yuneec, etc.), emerging technologies, and the latest FAA policies.

In addition to a workbook, students receive a quadcopter with camera and a computer flight simulator with radio controller that can be used for practice in between classes and after the course is completed. Each student will receive a training certificate of completion.

Saturday, June 3 and 10, 2017
Triangle Lounge, Spencer Hill Campus, 1 Academic Drive, Corning, NY


Small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) Test Preparation Class
To legally operate a drone for any business purpose, FAA regulations now require remote pilot certification. The 6-hour Remote Pilot Knowledge Test Prep course prepares pilots interested in pursuing commercial opportunities to successfully pass the comprehensive knowledge test required for FAA certification.

Saturday, June 17, 2017
Triangle Lounge, Spencer Hill Campus, 1 Academic Drive, Corning, NY

Register online or call 607-936-5501.