CIDER drone piloting program welcomes new student cohort

Flying white drone against a dark green forest background.

The CITRIS Initiative for Drone Education and Research (CIDER) at the CITRIS at UC Santa Cruz has welcomed 40 UC Santa Cruz students into its 2024 Pilot Training Program cohort. Over the winter and spring quarters, these students will work to gain their Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) commercial drone pilot licenses and to complete a group drone operation project. New this year, the program features an agriculture track to help students hone skills specific to that field.

Directed by CITRIS researcher Becca Fenwick, CIDER was established in 2021 and welcomed its first group of aspiring pilots in early 2022. In 2023, it became the first University of California program to receive a Federal Aviation Initiative (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI) program designation.

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