Deputy Director of Air Operations for the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems

General Duties:
The Deputy Director of Air Operations for Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS) leads the
air operations team responsible for the day-to-day operations of the FAA-designated Nevada UAS Test
Site flight operations center, command and control node, and field operations under the supervision
of the Director of the Nevada UAS Test Site. The Deputy Director provides critical leadership vital
to the safe, orderly, and expeditious operation of the Nevada UAS Test Site, NIAS, and the growth
of the Nevada UAS Industry. The Deputy Director ensures the correct UAS crew, training range, and
resources are applied across Nevada and beyond at the right place and time. He/she makes the
schedule for all Nevada UAS Test Site flights, including schedules of people and missions. He/she
oversees the Nevada UAS Test Site virtual C2 Node Operations ensuring standardization, growth, and
high functioning. He/she must also see to it that all flights comply with the FAA rules,
regulations, and standards. Serves on various Nevada airspace projects as the Lead. This leader
involves himself/herself with research for making the Nevada UAS Test Site processes better. The
Deputy Director fills in for the Director in his absence and acts as a subject matter expert to the
Governor’s Office of Economic Development when required. This is a critical role which demands the
right operator with a hands-on leadership perspective, demonstrates attention to detail, and the
ability to work within a highly functioning and resilient team. This is a full-time position with
full benefits. The position is in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Individual responsibilities include one or more of the following:

• Oversees field flight operations with both commercial and public entities; directs daily flight
operations to ensure compliance with FAA regulations, FARs, and CFRs and evaluates performance of
flying entities under the Nevada UAS Test Site Certificate of Authorizations (COA).
• Supervises flight scheduling, establishes flight training schedules, processes FAA flight data to
FAA databases, and supervises the NIAS standards and safety policy and procedures library.
• Functions as Chief pilot-in-command for the Nevada UAS Test Site’s fleet of UAS during various
tests – promotes the FAA’s Safety Management System among all NIAS entities.
• Deals with issues that affect NIAS or the Nevada UAS Test Site such as airspace and adverse
weather conditions.
• Helps to develop and monitor Nevada Air Tasking Orders (NATO) to make sure 100% execution and
• Forward planning to try to reduce disruption to the flight schedule/UAS testing and its
possible impact.
• Making sure that every flight has the right type of UAS and that aircraft and people are at the
right place to receive the correct operational directives.
• Supervise all aircraft operations for safety and flight standardization compliance; assists in
providing safety and flight operations training to other commercial or public UAS entities.
• Will assist and perform as a critical member of the NIAS Aviation Flight Safety Readiness
Review Board (AFSRB).
• Runs the NIAS digital flight and command and control (C2) node or mission control operations.
• Has operational responsibility for running the NIAS UAS operations control center or node
• Advises the Director on operational issues that may affect overall performance and UAS
Industry growth.
• Helps develop the flight operations budget and monitors expenses; analyzes expenses, and revenues
and recommends adjustments to NIAS quotes, ROMs, or bids.
• May assist in the competitive RFP contract process and lead the contract response process on
a frequent basis.
• Some temporary travel may be required for coverage/oversight of flight operations.
• Perform other duties as assigned by the Director.

Highlights of Qualifications
• Must possess a strong understanding of the Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) and Code of Federal
Regulation (CFRs) UAS safety standards and safe operating practices.
• Must possess a strong knowledge of FAA airspace development and flight operations policies
and procedures.
• Required to hold an FAA commercial (private or sport) or military pilot’s license.
• Must have flown a manned aircraft within the past 10 years in the National Airspace System.
• Previous flight leadership experience is required.
• General knowledge of the FAA’s Safety Management System (SMS).

• Knowledge of FAA small or large UAS procedures/methods is optimal.
• Ability to work in an uncertain or vague operational environment with a high level of motivation
and team spirit—must be a team player in all endeavors.
• Ability to work independently in stressed or high tempo conditions.
• Thoroughly proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook mail.

Not Required, but is considered a plus:

• Former military instructor pilot (IP), maintenance test pilot (MTP), or Safety Course
Certification is a plus.
• Participated in past airworthiness flight certification review process or have a strong knowledge
of the flight safety process.
• Solid leadership experience in the Commercial or Military UAS Industry.
• Former military with any observer controller/evaluator (OCE) trainer
• Prior military UAS, electronic warfare, airspace, ATC, Range Control, Flight Operations, or
Flight Operations experience is a plus.
• Former military Predator or Reaper UAS Pilot or Project Manager for such aircraft.
• Must have some competitive RFP contract process familiarity.

Education, Knowledge and Skills:

• Strong FAA operational flying experience and UAS Technical expertise – must possess an FAA
private pilot or commercial pilot license with more than 100 hours of Pilot-in-Command time in any
civilian or military aircraft with current Class II medical certificate or higher.
• Minimum requirement of the two-year Associates degree with a bachelor’s degree in an aeronautic
discipline preferred

What will the successful job holder be like?

You will enjoy delivering high aviation (UAS) standards while ensuring safety and can deal with the
unexpected in a logical or systematic way. You will be confident and able to make decisions in
sometimes pressured situations dealing with a wide range of challenges while always seeking to
deliver great mission execution for the Nevada UAS Test Site and NIAS. Working within a small team,
you will be able to work on your own initiative and be a self-motivated team player who enjoys
building relationships with other key team members and outside entities to ensure seamless flight
operations and continuous improvement. You will have good attention to detail and a methodical
approach to your work. You will be able to communicate clearly both verbally and in writing and
have an applied common-sense perspective to plans, operations, and safety.

Salary Range: $90,000 to $96,000 depending on qualifications.

401 k (Employer contribution) Health (medical, vision, and dental) Life insurance
Paid time off/vacation
Paid Holidays – 12 per year Professional training reimbursement
Paid maternity/paternity leave (Time off)
About the Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems (NIAS): On behalf of the Nevada Governor’s Office
of Economic Development, NIAS helps to grow the Nevada Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Industry
through business teaming, collaborating with primary research institutions on UAS research and
development, and enhancing the Nevada UAS Industry knowledge base to attract new and permanent
business, create jobs in the State of Nevada, and help facilitate full and safe UAS integration
into the National Airspace System. Learn more at or
Job poster: Brett Kanda, (702) 479-2986,,