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Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Selected for FAA Training Program

For more information about Drone Technology courses, contact instructor Matt Payne or visit our Information Technology program page. Classes begin Monday, September 14th!

student flying drone


Mount Gay, W.Va. – Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College is proud to announce that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has selected its Drone Technology courses for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems-Collegiate Training Initiative program or the UAS-CTI.

Instructor Matt Payne is the Information Technology Program Coordinator, as well as a commercial drone pilot who has shot footage for American Idol, assisted in search-and-rescue efforts, and is a certified master cell tower inspector.

“This is a unique opportunity for students in our area who have an interest in drone technology and want to utilize it to the fullest potential,” Payne said. “Graduates of this program will have the skills and knowledge they need to be truly successful.”

The FAA’s UAS-CTI program recognizes institutions that prepare students for careers in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones. In order to qualify for the initiative, schools must offer a bachelor’s or associates degree in UAS or a degree with a minor, concentration, or certificate in UAS. Schools must provide curriculum covering various aspects of UAS training, including hands-on flight practice, maintenance, uses, applications, privacy concerns, safety, and federal policies concerning UAS.

Southern’s Drone Technology courses are part of our Information Technology program and offer everything from beginner to advanced drone piloting. Students enrolled in these courses will have the chance to train on the most technologically advanced equipment available, and learn to fly, plan missions, gather data, inspect infrastructure, and even build a drone.

Southern’s Drone courses are offered as part of our 12-week classes, and registration for these classes is ongoing at each of our locations. For more information, please contact Matt Payne at