Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Construction Science and Management

Committee Chair/Advisor

Joseph Burgett

Committee Member

Mike Jackson

Committee Member

Jason Lucas

Committee Member

Patrick Gerard


To fly an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), commonly referred to as a “drone,” the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires pilots to pass a knowledge test. There is no requirement at the state or federal level for drone operators to demonstrate the ability to operate a UAS. The National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) has created an exam for public and private entities to assess basic UAS flight proficiency. It is the only nationally recognized flight proficiency protocol. NIST does not provide a scoring recommendation and leaves it to the user to determine the minimum criteria to pass. There is limited literature on scoring recommendations and none for state departments of transportation (DOT). This research will fill this gap by evaluating the flight performances of state DOT UAS pilots who participated in this study. Their performance will be used to provide recommended benchmarks that state DOTs can use with their flight skills assessments.

Author ORCID Identifier



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