HSU Foundation News

Jun 22, 2021

FAA selects HSU Foundation as TRUST Administrator in aid to Safe Integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Operations

With the launch of a Grand Opening planned for 5 pm CT on Wednesday, June 23rd at its HSU Innovation Institute North campus, 3152 Airport Road in Crestview, HSU Educational Foundation has multiple public private partnerships to celebrate as they strive to achieve an endeavor to grow the Bob Sikes Airport Aviation Workforce! Today’s FAA announcement of the not for profit organization’s selection to serve as a designated TRUST Test Administrator represents a particularly important opportunity to contribute to the FAAs efforts for safe integration of UAS into the National Airspace.

Through collaboration with the FAA, The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) Test Administrators provide educational safety materials to recreational flyers and administer testing for certification. TRUST will provide recreational drone flyers with information on best practices and educational resources to ensure safe drone operations.

HSU Educational Foundation, in its efforts to expand the reach of their educational mission for driving innovation and encouraging excellence in the teaching and application of STEM related skills, is especially focused on the high tech, fast growth industries of aviation/ aerospace, drones and related emerging technologies. TRUST represents a critical opportunity for the Foundation to expand educational outreach. Building upon the Foundation’s establishment of the HSU UAS Center of Excellence and HSU STEM RANGE in providing training and certification, research and development of prototypes, test flight and evaluation services, the Foundation also endeavors to foster a skilled talent pipeline from youth to professional, safely operating and well prepared to fulfill the workforce needs of a rapidly growing UAS industry. It all begins with safe recreational flight operations.

From recreational to professional flight, HSU Educational Foundation is committed to expanding UAS resources in Northwest Florida. Representing the HSU Educational Foundation, Founder Dr. Paul Hsu is serving on the FAA’s Drone Advisory Committee under the category of growing airport communities and is especially motivated to see the collaboration of public and private partnerships as a model for effective growth and innovation.

“We have been honored here in Northwest Florida to bring together so many aligned partners and leaders who share a common vision for the future growth of aviation at Bob Sikes Airport,” says Dr. Paul Hsu, a local longtime aerospace tech entrepreneur and educational advocate.

“We harnessed a unique opportunity to set aside our individual interests and contribute to shaping the next generation by establishing opportunities to develop technical knowledge and expertise in working with the latest technologies that will safely accelerate our capabilities and multiply our yet unrealized future potential.”

The HSU Innovation Institute North campus is situated at Crestview Technology Air Park connecting to the end of the 8000 foot runway of Bob Sikes Airport. The campus will feature the Northwest Florida State College’s Aviation Center of Excellence (ACE) and the HSU

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Center of Excellence. ACE will offer the FAA certified Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics (A & P) program, as well as manned aviation and other degree seeking aviation career opportunities. The HSU Educational Foundation’s vision was joined by other public private partners which include Florida DoT, Triumph Gulf Coast, Okaloosa County BOCC, Okaloosa Airports, Northwest Florida State College, private industry, individual donors, FieldWerx military educational partners and the support of a number of not for profit organizations.

To learn more about the FAA TRUST program, please visit https://www.faa.gov/go/uastrust/. To explore the HSU Educational Foundation programs, visit http://www.hsu-foundation.org/.