Interested in becoming a Remote Pilot?
With limited aircraft and availability, UAS Flight School seats are in high demand. DOI and USFS personnel interested in UAS should coordinate with their supervisor and unit aviation manager to determine an approach that fits the needs of their agency's mission. Becoming a remote pilot requires a substantial investment in aircraft, support equipment, travel, training, and time for continued proficiency. Those interested in UAS must understand the responsibilities and expectations set forth by your unit, agency, and departmental aviation leadership before entering the training process. Starting with your supervisor and working up your chain of command is the best path forward.
DOI and USFS personnel must complete IAT Course A-450 for Basic Remote Pilot before receiving certification or any follow-on training. A Part 107 license is a prerequisite for A-450, but Part 107 alone is not an authorization to perform remote pilot duties in an official capacity for the DOI and USFS.
Remote pilots who wish to become qualified as a UASP for Incident Response must complete NWCG Course S-373, Incident UAS Operations. Please do not start a UASP taskbook without successfully completing the UAS Flight School for Incident Operations. Again, please work through your unit and agency leadership if you are interested in UAS.
UAS Flight School for Incident Operations: Two-week flight school which incorporates A-450 Basic Remote Pilot and S-373 UAS Incident Operations. Pilot candidates will learn to plan and execute UAS operations on incidents, capture imagery with agency approved UAS, communicate, deconflict, and integrate into fire-traffic-area airspace, and engage in beyond visual line of sight mission profiles. Graduates will receive an agency UAS Remote Pilot Certificate (card) and become an NWCG UAS Remote Pilot (UASP) trainee.
UAS Flight School for Natural Resource Management: Two-week flight school which incorporates A-450 Basic Remote Pilot and UAS Mapping. Pilot candidates will learn to operate aircraft, capture imagery with agency approved UAS, plan and implement automated flight mission sets, and process low complexity data products. Graduates will receive an agency UAS Remote Pilot Certificate (card). At present, NRM training is for USDA personnel only.
Remote Pilots should check FAA, departmental, and agency guidance for recurrent training requirements. Remote pilots are responsible for understanding and complying with training requirements to maintain qualifications, proficiency, and currency.
General Recurrent Training Guidelines:
- Part 107: 2 years
- A452R: 2 years
- RT373: 3 years (Incident RPs are encouraged to complete this yearly, see the WFLP for more information)
Please reference the Wildland Fire Learning portal for UAS training information: