Jeff Hemming Selected to Serve on Drone Training Steering Committee

January 16, 2018

Carolina Drone Academy’s President, Jeff Hemming, selected to Steering committee and as a brand ambassador to develop UAS training protocols.

ARLINGTON, Va. Jan. 9, 2018 – The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) today announced the appointment of leading industry stakeholders to serve on a steering committee and as brand ambassadors who will develop the Trusted Operator Program (TOP) for remote pilots and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) training organizations.


Jeff Hemming, President and Founder of Carolina Drone Academy, has been selected by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) to serve on the steering committee and as a brand ambassador to develop the Trusted Operator Program (TOP) for remote pilots and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) training organizations.


The TOP, which AUVSI launched in November, is a UAS community initiative to facilitate best practices, codes of conduct and professionalism for operators of services provided by UAS, also known as drones.
“There is no other organization that can drive and support the UAS industry with such a critical initiative than AUVSI,” said Brian Wynne, AUVSI’s president and CEO. “As more commercial UAS pilots are trained and certified, they will join the aviatio
n community’s long-standing culture and commitment to safe and reliable performance.”


The initial planning for the TOP started early last year during meetings of AUVSI's Remote Pilots Council (RPC) that were held across the country. RPC members and other remote pilots licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration discussed the need for higher levels of professionalism through consistent training, which would allow UAS operators flying for business purposes to further distinguish themselves in the market.

In addition, RPC members said there is a lack of understanding of the legal implications involved in contracting UAS services that do not have certified and demonstrated safety and compliance protocols. This affects insurance costs, perceived market value for services, customer trust and regulatory oversight.


“There is an urgent need to unify the remote pilot community and remote pilot training providers to facilitate a recognized guide for training protocols, best practices and conduct. This will support reliability, safety, professionalism and trust in the UAS industry,” Wynne said. “The training protocols that are envisioned for the TOP will lead to many benefits, such as a commitment to safety, lower insurance premiums and helping advance regulations that permit expanded operations, including flying at night, over people, and beyond line of sight.”


The TOP steering committee will work to highlight gaps in existing training protocols and help develop new ones. Brand ambassadors will promote the program to stakeholders throughout the UAS community.


The Trusted Operator Program has been recognized as a critical effort for remote pilots and training organizations to demonstrate RELIABILITY, SAFETY, PROFESSIONALISM AND TRUST in the UAS industry. As an independent community based association, AUVSI will give more power and credibility to its members and increase the ability for AUVSI to advocate on their behalf with this TOP community based initiative. 

More information about the Trusted Operator Program (TOP) is posted on AUVSI’s website.


Aeryon Labs
Agricultural Aerial Remote Sensing Standards Council
ASTM/TriVector Services
AUVSI Cascade Chapter
AUVSI Nevada Chapter
Aviators Code Initiative
Carolina Drone Academy
Consortiq LLC
DNV GL Business Assurance USA Inc.
Earth Terminal Control
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University FAAFAA Safety Team, AFS-920y
FlightSafety Services Corporation

Galaxy UAV
Insitu, Inc
King Schools
Measure UAS, INC.
National Association of Tower Erectors
National Council on Public Safety UAS
Nexutech, LLC
NGAT Consortium at NC State University
North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Aviation
Oceans Unmanned, Inc.
Planet Inhouse, Inc.
Praxis Aerospace Concepts Int'l, Inc
RBD Solutions

Remote Control Video Productions
Roswell Flight Test Crew/AUVSI Cascade Chapter SAE International
SGS Aviation Compliance
TAMU-CC: Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence
Texas A&M Center for Robot Assisted Search and Rescue
Three Canyon Farms
Topsight Imaging, LLC
Unmanned Experts Inc.
Unmanned Safety Institute
Virginia UAS
Wyvern Ltd.
York County Fire and Life Safety

About Carolina Drone Academy
Carolina Drone Academy provides drone courses and hands-on pilot flight training for law enforcement, media and advertising companies, colleges, professional member associations, and other government agencies. 

For more information and for the latest course offerings of in-person FAA 107 exam preparation classes, Driver’s ED for Drones pilot flight training, advanced drone filming and photography, along with other specialized drone solutions, visit



The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) — the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics — represents more than 7,500 members from more than 60 countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets.

For more information, visit


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