By Alan Levin Bloomberg
Russell Peters is a junior at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (78211MF), one of the top U.S. flight-training schools, who has no intention of taking to the skies.
Standing next to a 3-foot-wide (91.4 centimeters) plane that searches for objects on the ground using artificial intelligence, he talks about how his fascination with robotics led him to theDaytona Beach, Florida, campus to prepare for a career building and operating drones.
“I don’t care about flying the planes,” said Peters, of ColoradoSprings, Colorado. “I just want to make the planes. And if we can get rid of the pilots, that’s great.”
As the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration prepares to let civilian unmanned aircraft operate in domestic airspace, universities including Embry-Riddle have created majors in flying and building drones. Enrollment is accelerating as students look for new opportunities in an aviation job market pummeled by airline bankruptcies.