SUAS-4000L3 UAS Trusted Operator Program™ Level 3 Certification

Quick Facts


Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Course is Part of this Program
AUVSI TOP Certification

Course Length
3 days face to face
(2 days of academics and 1 hour of flight assessment)

Course Dates & Locations

Your registration will be handled by a secure payment system. Credit card information will not be saved.



Our course is designed to certify Remote Pilots within the AUVSI Trusted Operator Program (TOP). The course focuses on safety, reliability and professionalism in the commercial use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) by coordinating the most important applicable standards. Such standards include federal aviation regulations, local and state protocols, and consensus-based industry standards. Students will gain a theoretical knowledge of air law, flight performance, meteorology, navigation, operating procedures, and the principles of flight. Students will also develop an expanded theoretical knowledge about human performance, airmanship principles, skills, proficiency and roles of preflight, flight planning, normal, emergency, and post flight procedures. Additionally, students will demonstrate skills and abilities in a practical flying assessment required for certification.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide Receives Trusted Operator Program™ Certification from AUVSI

What is the Trusted Operator Program?

The Trusted Operator Program™ uses a comprehensive set of protocols from many relevant standards, that have been agreed upon by the commercial UAS industry as essential to follow for safe, reliable, professional commercial UAS operations. Some of these standards include: aviation regulations, local & state regulations, industry best practice, and guidance material. Embry-Riddle will offer Trusted Operator Program™ certification for Level 1, 2, or 3 for remote pilots and remote pilot instructors

How does having a TOP Certification benefit the Operator?

TOP-certified professional UAS operators benefit from improved:

✓ Safety
✓ Trust
✓ Risk management
✓ Professionalism
✓ Reliability
✓ Safety Culture

How does having a TOP Certification benefit the customer?

Customers who choose the services of a TOP-certified professional know they are receiving:

✓ Demonstrated competency
✓ Advanced knowledge and skills
✓ Training appropriate to the level of risk
✓ Reliability
✓ Demonstrated commitment to safety

Who Should Attend

Only experienced Part 107 remote pilots who already possess the flight skills required to pass the practical assessment with little additional training.

Important Information:

  1. Practical flight assessment (PFA) requirements:
    • Students must use their own COTS aircraft with a gimbaled RGB camera (e.g., DJI Mavic Pro, Phantom 4, Yuneec Typhoon H).
    • Students must bring proof of current RPC
    • Students must bring a current logbook
    • Students must have commercial liability insurance in place during their PFA (Verifly, SkyWatch AI or similar with 1 million liability)
    • Flight standards will be in accordance with ASTM F3266.7100 and flown on a NIST apparatus
    • Batteries must be OEM and not modified
  2. There is no guarantee that the student will pass the PFA. This course is for experienced users only
  3. Transportation to/from the classroom and flight area are the responsibility of the student
  4. PFAs are planned for Saturday. However, if weather precludes completion of PFAs, ERAU will be available on Sunday as a weather backup.Please note: ERAU is not responsible if weather precludes completion of the PFA

Office of Professional Education
Worldwide Campus
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114,
top operator logo

About the Instructors

Dr. Scott Burgess

Associate Professor
Embry-Riddle - Worldwide, College of Aeronautics

Dr. Scott Burgess' 32 years of aviation experience includes both military and civil aviation organizations. Associate Professor Burgess operates a dozen sUAS from Parrot, DJI, 3DR, Hubsan, Yuneec and more, and in both multi-copters and fixed wing platforms with RGB, FLIR and multi-spectral payloads.

See Faculty Profile

David Thirtyacre

Assistant Professor
Embry-Riddle - Worldwide, College of Aeronautics

David Thirtyacre has been an instructor with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide Campus for ten years and is an Assistant Professor in the College of Aeronautics. David is the Chair of the Department of Flight and currently instructs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Aerodynamics, Aircraft Performance, Unmanned Systems, Airborne Robotics, and Aviation and Aerospace Simulation Systems.

See Faculty Profile

Joseph S. Cerreta

Assistant Professor
Embry-Riddle - Worldwide 
College of Aeronautics

Dr. Joseph Cerreta is an Assistant Professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Worldwide. He has 23 years of UAS experience as an instructor, manager, and director with UAS programs for the Department of Defense, Public Safety, and Academia.

Dr. Cerreta developed a UAS emergency management response capability with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, which also resulted in the National Weather Service’s use of UAS live-stream data specifically for tornado damage assessment for the first time in NWS history. He also co-developed a UAS for Public Safety integration program to stand up newly formed UAS aviation units in public safety entities.