This isn't the first time that Lake Area Technical College (LATC) has received national recognition. Because of its student's accomplishments, graduation rates, and employment status, President Obama spoke at the LATC May 8, 2015 graduation.

Not much has changed at LATC in terms of the impressive achievements of its students. As of 2020, 99% of their graduates are either employed or continuing their education, and 82% of their graduates work here in South Dakota.

So it is no surprise that they've been chosen for yet another prestigious position. This time with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

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Lake Area Tech has been designated as one of 16 approved Test Administrators of the Recreational UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Safety Test sites in the United States, and the only one in South Dakota.

What exactly is a UAS? Any drone-flying aficionado could tell you. Recreational drone operators are required to pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test issued by test administrator sites like Lake Area Tech, and they also have to carry proof that they indeed passed the exam, with them whenever they fly.

Over the last decade or so, recreational drone flying has become so popular that the FAA felt that anyone operating them needed to know the regulations and how to operate them safely.

There is no cost for this test and it is accessible online through Lake Area Tech in Watertown and the FAA. Drone operators take the exam and if they pass they can print out, or save a digital copy of their certificate, which they have to have with them whenever they fly their drones.

Sources: Dakota News Now, FAA, and Lake Area Technical College

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