While some New York politicians are trying to pretty much ban drones, the rest of the Empire State seems to be embracing them, judging by the number of UAV user groups.
So, are there drone schools in New York? No and yes. That is, if your goal is a college degree in Unmanned Aerial Systems, then you may need to look to another state. However, if you want to give yourself a good start in operating small UAVs, then check out the following:
Monroe Community College in Rochester is offering a non-credit course on small, unmanned aircraft operations. The course focuses on teaching students to fly quadcopters for commercial or personal use. It covers safety, drone capabilities, and giving them flight system experience.
The course is taught in six 3-hour sessions, costs $1,500, and includes a quadcopter.
DARTdrones offers 1-day classes in Syracuse at various times throughout the year, that are designed to help beginners “learn to fly safely, better understand the FAA rules and regulations, learn the no fly zones, and handle your equipment and software like an expert.” Also, you can get a discount off their courses if you enter the coupon code: DRNHQ10.
Introduction to sUAS (small Unmanned Aerial Systems)
This course is designed for anyone that wants to fly small Unmanned Aerial Systems (sUAS) for fun or as a new career after the FAA opens the skies to commercial use. Students learn to fly, are taught about the different types of flight systems and, most importantly, acquire insight into safe and legal flying practices.
There is also a New York City Drone User Group (NYCDUG). This is “an organization for amateur and professional drone users that seeks to promote the responsible use of flying robots for community service, artistic, entrepreneurial, and recreational purposes. All experience levels are welcome.”