Unmanned Aerial Systems Strategy

First Responder Event
Trace Showing Off Sinclair's Fleet
Launching a Drone

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is an emerging industry that is expected to exceed $94 billion (internationally) by 2020, and create more than 105,000 jobs in the U.S. by 2027. Based on the assets, capabilities, and resources focused on UAS technologies, the Dayton region and the state of Ohio are in a unique position to become the destination of choice for UAS researchers, developers, manufacturers, suppliers, trainers, and educators.

Our Vision: Sinclair will be the nation’s recognized leader in providing world class education, training and certification to create a highly skilled workforce for all aspects of Unmanned Aerial Systems and related industries.
UAS Strategy: Data analysis, curriculum, airspace & flight ranges, partners, simulators, facilities, aircraft

Leading the Way

Sinclair has been at the forefront of the UAS training market and has had notable successes, including:

  • Securing federal authorization to fly UAS
  • Launching the UAS Training and Certification Center with custom curricula and simulation tools
  • Hosting and supporting a national UAS conference on Sinclair’s campus

To capitalize on the emerging market opportunity and build on the momentum Sinclair and the Dayton region have achieved to date, a solid and comprehensive business plan has been developed that supports:

  • Sinclair becoming a nationally recognized leader in UAS training
  • A phased implementation strategy for capitalizing on progress already made in this market, leveraging partnerships, and developing new industry-specific programming
  • An alternative funding model that anticipates needed up-front investment, but leverages external financial resources, and becomes sustainable over time

PHASE I: 2009-2012

Early Market Positioning and Industry Alignment

Key Deliverables:

  • Developed Short-Term Certificate Program
  • Conducted multiple UAS workshops
  • Recognized as first community college to secure airspace
  • Purchased four unmanned aerial vehicles
  • Opened UAS Simulation Lab
  • Launched uas.sinclair.edu Website

PHASE II: 2013-2016

Strategic Investment to Ensure Leadership Position

Key Deliverables:

  • Create and implement UAS First Responder program
  • Align with FAA to drive accreditation standards and national certifications
  • Develop proven, vetted program development model
  • Establish Sinclair as a thought leader in UAS training and education
  • Launch UAS scholarly Journal
UAS Indoor Flying Pavilion
UAS Indoor Flying Pavilion
Building 13 UAS Center Floor Plan
Building 13 UAS Center Floorplan

Project Timeline

Project Timeline: January 2015 Design completed, March 2015 Board approves construction contract, May 2015 Groundbreaking of Flying Pavilion, July 2015 Begin renovation of Building 13, October 2015 Complete renovation of Building 13, January 2016 Complete construction of Flying Pavilion, February 2016 Dedication

PHASE III: 2017-2022

Scale and Growth

Key Deliverables:

  • Establish UAS Maintenance program
  • Capitalize on secondary market opportunities
  • Regular production cycle for UAS Journal
  • Launch UAS Researcher in Residence program

PHASE IV: 2023+

Sustaining the Vision

Key Deliverables:

  • Scale UAS Maintenance program on national level
  • Training partner to new UAS manufacturers
  • Implementation of 3-5 new programs for delivery
  • UAS Researcher in Residence program well established model


With Sinclair taking a national leadership role in UAS education and training, benefits to the college and our students include:

  • Being first to market, supporting Sinclair’s rich heritage of innovation
  • National recognition of Sinclair’s approach to innovative, in-demand training
  • Building programs which support high quality learning opportunities
  • Embracing immersive learning technologies required to support this dynamic growth market
  • Alignment with key stakeholders: industry leaders, educational institutions, economic development entities and elected officials
  • Further positioning Sinclair for external funding support and expanded partnership opportunities


Sinclair has been a leader and innovator in UAS and we are pleased that our community will continue to be home to the National UAS Training and Certification Center. We are certain that the best is yet to come. Ryan Smith, Ohio Director of Unmanned Aerial Systems

General Partners:

  • Dayton Development Coalition
  • Center for UAS Exploitation
  • Airpark Ohio
  • Wilmington Air Park

Educational Partners:

  • ATIC
  • Wright State Research Institute
  • University of Dayton Research Institute
  • University of North Dakota

Industry Partners:

  • SelectTech
  • L3 Link Simulation and Training
  • Woolpert
  • Riverside Research

Back to Top