2023 Session

Budget Amendments - HB1400 (Member Request)

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Chief Patron: Reid
Drone Stem Workforce Development Pilot

Item 436 #1h

Item 436 #1h

First Year - FY2023 Second Year - FY2024
Department of Aviation FY2023 $0 FY2024 $4,200,000 GF

Page 529, line 29, strike "$37,063,512" and insert "$41,263,512".

Page 530, after line 24, insert:

"G.1. Out of the amounts includes in this item, $4,200,000 general funds the second year  is provided for the Department of Aviation (Department), in coordination with the Secretary of Labor and the Department of Education, to develop a pilot program to provide Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)/drone STEM training and skills development to approximately 2,000 Virginia students consisting of K-5th grade, middle school (6th-8th grades), and High School (9th-12th grades) at the appropriate level of instruction for their age groups. The Department shall consider the following guidelines when developing or procuring UAS/drone training services:

a. Drone Awareness and Immersion Training shall Provide consistent, repeatable, static, mobile training, and quick consumable platforms that enables drone immersion training to ensure basic understanding of UAS operations, proper use, and is in direct alignment with FAA Part 107 and other relevant laws, regulations, and community guidelines.

b. Workforce Development Training that prepares 15-year-old and older, young adults, and adult learners with the necessary skills to ensure safe operation of the UAS and building an understanding of the vocational opportunities consistent with formalized education necessary to achieve Part 107 licensure.

2. Should the Department choose to procure external services for these training programs, the Department shall follow these requirements:

a. Ensure all personnel are highly qualified and experienced, with required certifications (FAA Part 107 Certified Commercial Drone Pilot licensure), experienced leader within the UAS ecosystem, and demonstrated experience in developing and presenting both classroom and practical skills development.

b. The firm shall be Virginia-based and meet the Virginia SWaM definition.

c. Shall have Road-Mobile Training Teams and physical UAS Facility location with broad expertise in diverse UAS platforms and capabilities.

d. Experience with establishing and using standardized policy and procedures for safe flight operations that comply with FAA Part 107 regulations.

e. Must have experience with managing 1000+ hours of flight operations (ranging from multiple flight locations to supporting flight operations in economically disadvantaged locations), ensuring complete safety and compliance with relevant governing laws and guidelines.

3. The Department shall establish the metrics necessary to assess the success of the program but shall at least include the following: number and location of students trained, demographics of class participants, number of classes conducted, number of safe flights hours achieved, FAA Part 107 licenses in process and obtained, and job placements in the UAS industry after training.

4. The Department shall provide a status report to the Secretary of Labor and the Chairs of the following committees withing 60-days of the conclusion of the Year 1 Pilot Program: House Commerce and Energy, House Communications, Technology and Innovation, and House Transportation and the Senate Commerce and Labor, Senate General Laws and Technology, and Senate Transportation.


(This amendment provides $4.2 million from the general fund in fiscal year 2024 to develop a pilot program to provide Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)/drone STEM training to up to 2,000 students.)