Salary Grade: GN16 / Salary Range: $60,530 – $108,879
The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program is part of the NCDOT Division of Aviation, the state’s air transportation authority, which promotes the economic well-being of North Carolina by developing a safe and robust air transportation system. The UAS Program focuses on enabling the beneficial use of UAS (drones) in the state and supporting the growth and development of the state’s drone economy.
The UAS Program Manager reports directly to the Aviation Director and is responsible for leading the safe integration of drones into the state’s airspace in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and state and local government agencies and maintaining North Carolina’s leadership role in the integration of drone use nationwide.
The position is responsible for performing the managerial, supervisory, professional, technical, and administrative work required to build and manage a successful statewide UAS program for North Carolina. The position leads short- and long-range planning, organizing and managing daily operations, quality assurance, human resource management, staff development, research, fiscal management and oversight, policy and procedure development and oversight, and compliance monitoring and reporting for the Division of Aviation’s UAS Program. It also provides technical expertise and oversight in the implementation of UAS across the department, state government, and public and commercial sectors.
This position requires the highest level of technical and applied knowledge in UAS within NCDOT and state government and the ability to interact effectively at the highest levels of business, government and academic sectors. Primary stakeholders and partners include NCDOT leadership, technical staff and personnel from all business units, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the North Carolina General Assembly, other government and non-government agencies, UAS companies, transportation firms, technology providers and the general public. This position operates with high levels of accountability, authority and consequence of error.
Among its primary areas of focus, the position is responsible for leading research, development and testing of new uses for drones that will improve efficiency, safety and cost to taxpayers for operations conducted by NCDOT units and state agencies, including supporting statewide emergency response to natural disasters and emergencies.
The position is responsible for developing and refining state laws and NCDOT policies governing the ownership and operation of UAS in North Carolina. The position explains and justifies program and budget requests to agency leadership and legislative committees, and writes and implements policies, procedures and other necessary action to ensure the timely and accurate implementation of ratified language and other requirements.
The position maintains the state’s online UAS permitting system for government and commercial operators.
The position is responsible for maintaining a trained team of UAS pilots who can provide UAS operational support and services to customers within NCDOT and providing fleet management for procurement and maintenance of NCDOT’s fleet of drones, in collaboration with NCDOT Purchasing and NCDIT. These services include but are not limited to aerial photography, aerial inspections, UAS mission support, UAS permitting support, UAS operation training and Standard Operating Procedure support.
The position serves as the primary point of contact for all information requests regarding the UAS Program, encompassing all stakeholders both public and private, specifically serving as liaison to the General Assembly, Secretary of NCDOT, FAA UAS Integration Office, local FAA Flight Standards District Offices and statewide air traffic control facilities.
The position develops and maintains, in conjunction with NCDOT Communications, a communications plan for the UAS program that provides statewide awareness of the safe, legal use of drones. The position speaks at stakeholder engagement events and works with NCDOT Communications to create video and web content, social media outreach and print material for statewide distribution.
The position collaborates with the Division’s aviation business development managers to plan and implement activities that advance the state’s UAS sector.
The UAS Program Manager manages the program’s budget and human resources, in compliance with NCDOT protocols.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities / Competencies
Qualified Applicants must submit an application that clearly reflects work experience that demonstrates the following:
Experience with state and federal rules and regulations governing unmanned operations in the national airspace system.
Experience interpreting policies and procedures governing effective program management.
Experience with budget administration and overseeing contracts and contracted services.
Experience with communicating orally and in writing to a wide range of stakeholder groups.
Experience interpreting federal/state legislation regarding UAS and aviation and to establish state-level policy and guidance.
Management Prefers applicants that possess a FAA-Certified Drone Pilot License.
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements
Bachelor’s degree from an appropriately accredited institution and five (5) years of experience in the program area of assignment, including two years of supervisory program experience; or an equivalent combination of training and experience.
Supplemental and Contact Information Carla Thompson #919-814-0553
Applicant must meet both the minimum requirements and all posted Knowledge, Skills and Ability requirements to be considered Qualified for the position. It is important that your application includes all your relevant education and work experience and that you answer all questions associated with the application. NCDOT will not accept “See Attached” or “See Resume” in lieu of education and work experience completed on the application. If multiple applications are submitted to an individual posting, only the most recent application received prior to the posting date will be accepted.
An Equal Opportunity Employer, North Carolina, State Government