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Drone (UAS) Program Manager

Are you ready to lead the smart drone transportation revolution?

We have a strategic opening for an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Program Manager where you will lead the safe integration of drones into our state's airspace in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and state and local government agencies and help maintain North Carolina's leadership role in the integration of drone use nationwide. The UAS program focuses on enabling the beneficial use of drones across NCDOT and other state agencies, and for public, and commercial use.  
Are you ready to perform the technical, supervisory, administrative, managerial and professional engineering work required to build and manage a successful statewide UAS program for North Carolina?  
You will be actively immersed in the complex, controversial, challenging, and exciting work of integrating new and rapidly evolving UAS technologies into all engineering phases of NCDOT's work. Each NCDOT group will have unique uses and applications for UAS and, as regulations change and evolve, you will need to interpret regulations and provide relevant and pertinent requirements to how UAS are applied for business uses. 
You will be an NCDOT engineering expert, liaison and technical advisor for all NCDOT staff to test the beneficial uses of drones and will to help us integrate UAS in our business and engineering processes to improve our leadership in smart transportation operations, efficiency, and cost savings.  
In this leadership role, you will:
  • Lead the short- and long-range planning, research, development and testing of new drone uses that improve efficiency, safety and cost-savings to taxpayers for operations conducted by NCDOT units and state agencies, including supporting statewide emergency response to natural disasters and emergencies.
  • Provide technical expertise in the implementation of UAS across NCDOT, state government, and public and commercial sectors.
  • Help establish progressive policy, develop and refine state laws and NCDOT policies governing the UAS ownership and operation in the State.
  • Drive the writing and implementation of policies, procedures and other actions to ensure the timely and accurate implementation of ratified language and other requirements.
  • Maintain the state's online UAS permitting system for government and commercial operators
  • Organize and manage daily operations
  • Build, lead, and maintain a trained UAS pilot team to provide UAS operational support and services to NCDOT internal customers and provide fleet management for procurement and maintenance of NCDOT's fleet of drones. These services include aerial photography, aerial inspections, UAS mission support, UAS permitting support, UAS operation training and Standard Operating Procedure support.
  • Perform fiscal management and oversight
  • Perform quality assurance
  • Develop procedures and best practices
  • Monitor compliance and lead program reporting.
What You Bring
  • Expert technical and applied knowledge in UAS within NCDOT and state government
  • The ability to interact effectively at the highest levels of business, government, and academic sectors.
  • Experience leading the development, implementation, and management of state and federal rules and regulations governing unmanned operations in the national airspace system.
  • Experience with budget administration and overseeing contracts and contracted services.
  • Communications skills oral and written needed to work effectively with stakeholders and partners including NCDOT leadership, engineers, technical staff and personnel from all business units, the Federal Aviation Administration, North Carolina General Assembly, other government and non-government agencies, UAS companies, transportation professional engineering firms, technology providers and the public.
  • Skills operating with high accountability, authority, and consequence of error
  • Skills interpreting policies and procedures governing effective program management.
  • Supervisory experience managing an engineering program with engineers and other employees, serving as the engineering authority for unmanned aircraft systems, and managing projects requiring extensive contracts and contracted services.
  • Experience interpreting federal/state legislation regarding UAS and aviation and establishing state-level policy and guidance.      
Education and Experience 
  • Bachelor's degree and 5 years of experience, including 2 years of supervisory program experience; or
  • An equivalent combination of education and experience.
Management Prefers
Applicants possessing FAA-Certified Drone Pilot License.
Call me: Carla Thompson at 919-814-0553 
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