Two Syracuse City School District Students Earn Professional Drone Certification


Two PSLA at Fowler students have become the first in the Syracuse City School District to pass the Part 107 exam, receiving a commercial remote pilot certification.

Seniors in the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Career and Technical Education (CTE) program, Belal Hamad and Yohan Trteizio have been studying drones since their freshman year. This week, they both completed the 60-question exam, demonstrating their knowledge of FAA rules and regulations, airspace, weather sources, airport and drone operations and much more. This certification gives the students the opportunity to earn compensation as a commercial Unmanned Aircraft pilot.

“Given the current state of classes with COVID, this is a little light of hope for them and their classmates,” RPAS/Drone Technology teacher Quindell Williams explained. “It is rewarding for me to be able to help them cross the finish line in the middle of a pandemic during an odd senior year.”

NUAIR Chief Operations Officer Tony Basile has been working with the RPAS program since its inception and serves on the RPAS P-TECH Advisory Board. He said this is an exciting milestone for the entire program.

“These two students should be very proud of this accomplishment, not only because they are the first in this program to do it, but also because it gives them something tangible that they can put to use immediately to start a career if they so choose,” Mr. Basile said. “I’m hopeful that many more will follow them, as I can attest that a career in aviation is very rewarding.”

Following their high school graduation, Belal and Yohan plan to put their skills to use. Belal hopes to become an Astronaut and saw the RPAS program as his first step into Aerospace. He plans to attend college to study Aeronautics while working as a Drone Pilot. Yohan hopes to pursue a career in mechanical or aerospace engineering and has applied to several colleges that offer those programs, including Cornell and Syracuse University.

PSLA Belal Hamad Yohan Trteizio