European Simulation & Training Academy (ESTA) Partners with USI to Deliver RPAS Training Best Practices

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The objective is to develop a crew member training, certification, and qualification program for advanced, sustainable, and scalable drone operations on par with traditional aviation best practices. 

June 11, 2024 Panama City, FL ESTA, a subsidiary of Norwegian Aviation Defence Group (NADG), has been developing a state-of-the-art training center in Norway focused on Education, Maintenance and Simulation training for off-shore helicopter operations common to the oil and gas industryAs Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) become more prevalent in their use for supporting this complex and challenging operating environment, ESTA chose USI and its globally adopted Primary and Advanced training and certification programsUSI’s training program is derived from aviation best practices and results in a standardized approach to safe, effective, and efficient operations in both Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operating environments. ESTA is going to be USI's cooperation partner for Service deliveries in the Nordics for years to come. 

ESTA has put together a very experienced team that has a unique platform to provide the offshore, utility and military marketplace with safety-focused and cost-effective training platforms,” remarked Ole Petter Bakken, ESTA President and CEOWe are very impressed with the value that RPAS can offer the oil and gas industry, the military, as well as the larger marketplaceESTA plans to take a position in the European marketplace for this type of competency-based training that will be demanded by our customersWe recognize the good work that EASA and FAA are doing developing final regulations for this emerging technologyWhile that work continues, we chose to partner with USI as their certification structure is already aligned with ASTM standards and is based on established aviation best practices for safe and effective operations.” 

USI Co-Founder and CEO, Josh Olds added, “Ole and his team at NADG have not only demonstrated their commitment to safety for their customers and crew for their helicopter operations, but I found it even more impressive when he laid out his vision for ESTA as a training facility for traditional aviation as well as UAS, and other emerging aviation technologiesOle’s decision to incorporate USI’s training and certification structure into a holistic pilot competency model shows incredible foresight to building tomorrow’s pilot workforceThis workforce will combine traditional aviation skills with a high level of knowledge and proficiency in hardware, software, and automation management.”


Multiple ESTA pilots are undergoing the Primary and Advanced Certification pathway training with USI at their training center for excellence located in Panama City, FloridaFull BVLOS waiver operations are being performed using the Censys Sentaero aircraft and a fully equipped mobile command centerESTA will incorporate this same structure into their RPAS training center close to Stavanger Airport located in Sola Norway.

About Norwegian Aviation and Defence Group (NADG) and the European Simulation and Training Academy (ESTA) 

European Simulation & Training Academy (ESTA) is a subsidiary of Norwegian Aviation & Defence Group (NADG) which provide aviation solutions and build competence that contributes to a safer future for work- related flights.  

The ESTA organization has a seasoned group of professionals with many years of experience in all areas of helicopter and drone training. Our instructors have the highest grades of professional licence and extensive experience in HEMS, rescue, military and oil and gas sectors. Our purpose is to provide the best education and training possible, for all skill levels. ESTA aims to offer full a complete training service, which including classroom training, flight lessons with an instructor, technical training and simulator training. The main base of NADG is at Stavanger Airport, the main hub for the Norwegian Helicopter activities. 

About USI

Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) is the industry’s most widely recognized leader in flight safety solutions for individuals, academia and organizations focused on integrating and operating UAS for civil or commercial purposes. USI provides UAS flight safety training and certification to operational standards based on the adoption and modification of time-honored aviation safety practices. 

With more than 300 instructors and over 20,000 USI Certifications awarded around the world, USI works with large commercial enterprises and nearly 500 schools in all 50 states. USI is the global leader in commercial and academic UAS training and certification, delivering the most highly regarded training program of its kind. USI offers Primary, Advanced and Complex training and certification programs that are applicable to VLOS, BVLOS and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operations.

USI’s training and certification programs are endorsed by major aviation insurance providers and implemented nationwide as a workforce pathway program from secondary or post-secondary to the career field to align skill sets to industry pay scales.

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