The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) has released the TOP Directory, a list of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operators who have gained certification through AUVSI’s Trusted Operator Program (TOP).
TOP provides training that is in addition to the aeronautical knowledge test needed to obtain a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration. Launched late last year, the program enables remote pilots to distinguish themselves in a growing marketplace by holding themselves to a “higher standard of safety and professionalism,” according to AUVSI.
The new directory allows companies and organizations to search for a certified TOP operator on the AUVSI website to fulfill their specific business applications. The initial TOP Directory includes nearly 40 operators in 19 states and the U.K. They have been certified by one of four training providers that were approved by one of two certification bodies that have been authorized by AUVSI.
“Fundamentally, there has been disparity in the levels of remote pilot performance due to the lack of uniform training standards delivered by UAS training providers,” says Tracy Lamb, vice president of regulatory and safety affairs and chief pilot at AUVSI. “This verification in a pilot’s ability, and the training organization’s capacity and commitment to formal safety frameworks, offers the industry’s end-users, or customers, assurance of safety, competence and reliability. This is the heart of the TOP value proposition.”