Charlotte, N.C. (June 27, 2017) — All of Woolpert’s eight unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have earned their North Carolina UAS Commercial Operators Permit.
Aaron Lawrence, Ethan Schreuder, Ryan Grantonic, Laila Barr, Kris Froiland, Joel Doughty, Rich Gerdeman and Peter Miller, all of whom are subject matter experts in other fields within Woolpert, each earned these state licenses under the FAA’s 14 CFR Part 107 rule.
Two of these pilots, Barr and Gerdeman, also are certified as private pilots (14 CFR Part 61) and can fly under the FAA’s Section 333 Exemption. The Section 333 Exemption is granted on a case-by-case basis, allowing UAS pilots to perform commercial operations. The FAA notes that this exemption process “provides operators who wish to pursue safe and legal entry into the NAS (National Airspace System) a competitive advantage in the UAS marketplace, thus discouraging illegal operations and improving safety.”
Woolpert also has nine commercial pilots who can serve as pilots in command (PIC) with any of these eight North Carolina UAS operators.
Woolpert Geospatial and Technology Director Kirk McClurkin said the firm has a very progressive and aggressive safety culture.
“We are concerned about safety, not because the industry measures our performance, but because we value and support our people and the responsibilities they have for others,” McClurkin said. “Our safety strategy must be deliberately focused in line with our motto to ‘help our employees, clients and world progress through forward-thinking.’ Not only does this allow Woolpert to comply under state regulations, but it also enhances our awareness and ability to operate safely and responsibly.”
Woolpert was the first surveying and aerial mapping company to be approved to fly a UAS commercially in designated airspace, earning an FAA Section 333 Exemption in 2014. Woolpert continues to expand its capabilities and resources to provide industry-leading services and solutions to our clients.
Woolpert is a national architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm that delivers value to clients by strategically blending engineering excellence with leading-edge technology and geospatial applications. With a dynamic R&D department, Woolpert works with inventive business partners like Google and Esri; operates a fleet of planes, sensors and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS); and continually pushes industry boundaries by working with advanced water technologies, asset management, Building Information Modeling (BIM) and sustainable design. Woolpert’s mission is to help its clients progress—and become more progressive. For over 100 years and with 26 offices across the United States, Woolpert serves the needs of federal, state and local governments; private and public companies and universities; energy and transportation departments; and the United States Armed Forces. The firm currently is doing business in all 50 states and in six countries. For more information, visit woolpert.com or call 937-531-1258.