Pinnacle Solutions wins $553M Army unmanned training contract

On March 19th, 2019, Pinnacle Solutions Inc. was awarded the $533-million cost-plus-fixed-fee Unmanned Aircraft Systems Instruction and Mission Support (UAS IMS) contract by the U.S. Army Contracting Command in Orlando, Florida. Under this contract, Pinnacle will provide UAS instruction, maintenance, logistics support, prescribed load list (PLL), flight line operations support and information technology network support, for UAS training conducted at Ft. Huachuca, Arizona, by the 2d Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment, 1st Aviation Brigade.

Training will be in support of entry-level U.S. Army Soldiers who will be learning to operate and/or maintain the RQ-7 Shadow and MQ-1 Gray Eagle UAS, utilizing simulation systems in a classroom environment in addition to actual flight operations. The estimated contract completion date is March 2026.

Praxis Aerospace Concepts International Incorporated (PACI) is pleased to announce our participation with the Pinnacle team, supporting with a  multidisciplinary expertise and experience in safe integration of Unmanned Systems.

Read the full article from the Washington Technology Journal here . Additional coverage from Military Simulation Training Magazine may be found here.

FlightSafety International To Deliver Unmanned Aircraft Systems Practical Flight Training In Conjunction With Praxis Aerospace Concepts, Inc

FlightSafety International will deliver Unmanned Aircraft Systems practical flight training in conjunction with Praxis Aerospace Concepts, Inc.

“Our Unmanned Systems Training program developed in conjunction with Praxis, will help commercial operators achieve the highest levels of safety and proficiency,” said Ray Johns, Co-CEO, President, Government and Manufacturing. “As a global leader in aviation training with more than six decades of experience, FlightSafety has the capability to develop and deliver the most comprehensive UAS training available.  We appreciate and value the expertise Jonathan Daniels and his team at Praxis bring to this important new program.”

“This is a significant moment for the Praxis team. FlightSafety is ‘the’ benchmark for professional aviation education. When we first started Praxis, our founding goal was to be the ‘FlightSafety of UAS’,” says Jonathan Daniels, CEO, Praxis Aerospace Concepts, Inc.

Read the press release from FlightSafety International here or sign up for more information on their website. Additional coverage is available from Shephard Media here.

DOT UAS Initiatives Announced

On January 14, 2019, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced proposed new rules and a pilot project to allow unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or more commonly called drones, to fly overnight and over people without waivers under certain conditions and to further integrate drones safely into the national airspace system.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management System Pilot Project (UPP) supposed to run till September 2019, is intended to develop and demonstrate a traffic management system to safely integrate drone flights within the nation’s airspace system. Also, the pilot project will create a shared information network and gather data that can be used for future rulemakings.

Existing Part 107.31 Waiver Areas (purple) and BVLOS COA (green)

PACI is uniquely qualified as a partner with the State of Nevada, with existing BVLOS approvals, an active airport that welcomes UAS, protected spectrum for command and control, and 24/7 UTM coverage. Our operational systems support flight planning, communications, aircraft separation and weather services for UTM drones, which will operate under 400 feet.

Searchlight Airpark (1L3) is the epicenter of the world’s largest privately-operated commercial test range.

Read the FAA’s official press release here. Additional news articles from sUASnews can be found on here, the Washington Post article, and the Las Vegas Review Journal’s article is here.

PACInc partners with Nevada colleges to train new generation of pilots and programmers


Correction: The source article “As drone use rises, Nevada colleges gear up to train new generation of pilots and programmers” incorrectly lists Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc. as the vendor for the UNLV program. The course and instructors are provided by Praxis Aerospace Concepts Incorporated (PACInc), an AUVSI Trusted Operator Program Training Provider.

Henderson, December 27th, 2018: Federal aviation officials have predicted that the fleet of commercial drones in the U.S. could quadruple in size from 2017 levels by 2022, driven by their growing use in real estate and aerial photography, surveying, agriculture inspection and many other fields.

“There’s a lot more talk about it, it’s in the news a lot more, so we get a lot more interest because of that,” said Heidi Erpelding-Welch, a program developer in UNLV’s Continuing Education department. “It’s so prevalent at this point. It’s something we saw as an additional need for workforce development.”

It’s one of the big reasons UNLV is introducing a certificate program this winter that, over two weekends, will not only prepare students for a written test to earn a drone pilot’s license but also offer an internationally recognized training program to set them apart in the field. The program emerges in a state that’s one of seven designated by the Federal Aviation Administration as a drone testing site, as Nevada puts more focus on developing an autonomous technology industry and as drones becomes more ubiquitous.

UNLV used to offer drone pilot certification within its engineering program on a schedule that fit for more traditional undergraduate students. It phased out the program in 2016 to revamp it, ensuring it better fit the schedules of people who have full-time jobs already, but want to add drone flying to their skill set.

“One of the biggest fallacies is the idea of unfilled jobs where all you do is act as a drone pilot, and that’s not really the case,” said Jonathan Daniels, President of Praxis Aerospace Concepts Inc., which will host and provide the instructor and equipment for the program. ”This is a tool that will get you better at doing your job.”

The program has room for 20 students and costs $1,899. It runs on a Friday night, all day Saturday and all day Sunday for two weekends in a row.

Students will learn the different applications of drones, the ins and outs of the regulatory system, how to read aeronautical charts, and how to operate a drone safely.  For 10 hours, they’ll either operate a simulator or fly a real drone.

What makes UNLV’s program different from other classes on drones is that it’s one of the first to adhere to Trusted Operator Program certification through the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Daniels likens it to buying organic produce — there’s a difference between someone slapping the “organic” label on an apple, and the apple being the product of a rigorous set of organic farming standards.

“That provides a professional framework based on industry standards and best practices and regulation, to really target an employable remote pilot,” he said.

Read the full article in The Nevada Independent by Michelle Rindels here. 

ANSI Standardization Roadmap for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Published

New York, December 20, 2018: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) announced today the publication of the Standardization Roadmap for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Version 1.0). The roadmap was developed by the Institute’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Standardization Collaborative (UASSC), a group established to coordinate and accelerate the development of the standards and conformity assessment programs needed to facilitate the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS aka “drones”) into the national airspace system of the United States. Over 300 individuals from some 175 public- and private-sector organizations actively supported the document’s development, including representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), additional U.S. federal government agencies, standards developing organizations (SDOs), industry, academia, and others.

This roadmap represents the culmination of the UASSC’s work over the last 15 months to identify existing standards and standards in development, assess gaps, and make recommendations for priority areas where there is a perceived need for additional standardization including pre-standardization research and development (R&D). Topical areas covered include airworthiness; flight operations; personnel training, qualifications, and certification; and specific operations for critical infrastructure inspections, commercial services, and public safety.

Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Incorporated (PACI) is pleased to announce our participation in the UASSC, both as a corporation and in concert with our CEO’s work within ASTM.

Read more about the Standardization Roadmap for UAS in the full press release from ANSI here. 

As the program rolls out, more details will be available on the ANSI UASSC page.

AUVSI launches Trusted Operator Program™

AUVSI TOP™ is a professional unmanned system community initiative aimed at supporting industry accepted remote pilot standards and protocols, which will result in the safe and sustainable advancement of the industry.

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AUVSI has worked with more than 190 international safety experts to create TOP™ to raise the trust and acceptance of the use of unmanned aircraft globally. TOP™ uses a set of protocols constructed from many relevant standards (i.e. ICAO, ANSI, ASTM, NIST) and industry association best practices (i.e. NATE, IOGP, ASPA, HAI) to meet or exceed the aviation regulations established by the Federal Aviation Administration (US), Civil Aviation Safety Authority (AUS), and several Civil Aviation Authorities (including the UK and South Africa). 

TOP is global in nature

All three TOP Levels are aimed at both individual remote pilots and commercial UAS organizations. Each level of certification reflects the level of skills, knowledge and safety protocols required to operate in different industries.

Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Incorporated (PACI) is pleased to announce our participation in both the Remote Pilots’ Council and the Trusted Operator Program. PACI is proud to be part of the early adopters, and the first approved TOP™ Certifying Body for Public Safety.

Read more about the Trusted Operator Program™ in this month’s Unmanned Systems magazine (Volume 36, No. 7 – October 2018) here. 

As the program rolls out, more details will be available on the TOP web page.

For more information on the TOP™, call 702-586-1160 or email us for service. You can also schedule your audits here.


ASTM UAS Approved Training Provider Program (UATPP)

W. CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa., October 29, 2018 – ASTM International announced today a new partnership with Praxis Aerospace Concepts International aimed at meeting the need to evaluate the growing number of training programs for drone operators, maintenance technicians, instructors, and others in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry.

The new joint offering, the UAS Approved Training Provider Program (UATPP), will evaluate curricula of training programs to see if they are in compliance with standards. It is based on technical standards being created by a group of ASTM International members, including drone experts, manufacturers, and others in a subcommittee (known as F38.03) focused on personnel training, qualification, and certification.

Applicant organizations found to be in compliance with standards will receive a UATPP Approved Training Provider certificate. They can then market their training programs to prospective trainees as such. Each application costs $750 per training provider location seeking approval.

Read the full press release here. Also, see this new article in ASTM International’s Standardization News magazine.

About ASTM International

Committed to serving global societal needs, ASTM International positively impacts public health and safety, consumer confidence, and overall quality of life. We integrate consensus standards – developed with our international membership of volunteer technical experts – and innovative services to improve lives… Helping our world work better.

About Praxis Aerospace Concepts International, Inc

Founded in 2011, PACI is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business based in Southern Nevada. PACI develops and operates laboratory and field facilities for multi-modal (ground-air-sea-industrial) response robotics, unmanned systems (UxS).  PACI uses a mix of proprietary technology, unique team domain expertise, and unique partnerships to provide clients with research, development, test, evaluation, deployment, commercialization, and training solutions across the globe.

Boeing Teams with Robotic Skies to Provide Enhanced Commercial Unmanned Aircraft System Services


Boeing and its subsidiaries Jeppesen and Aviall have joined with Robotic Skies, a leading commercial unmanned aircraft system (UAS) support services provider, to develop and deliver industry-leading supply chain management and optimization, analytics, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services for the commercial and civil UAS markets. 

Read the press release here

FlightSafety International Offers Comprehensive Unmanned Aircraft Systems Training

FlightSafety expands its offerings to provide comprehensive Unmanned Systems Training through a series of Remote Pilot ground and flight training courses. These courses are designed to achieve the highest levels of safety and proficiency in the industry. Through customized course development, we tailor the program to your specific and individual needs. This industry-leading program has been developed in cooperation with Praxis Aerospace Concepts. Built upon our experience with unmanned training for military agencies, we support and fulfill the requirements of a wide scope of commercial operations.

Read the full article here