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Operations Manager

University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota (US)

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Salary Range
$70,000 - $99,999
Job Type
Full Time
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Job Details


The Operations Manager for the Northern Plains UAS Test Site oversees and manages the Operations Division. They are responsible for facilitating all matters related to the safe conduct of operations such as airspace approval, airworthiness certification, and crew qualifications. Additionally, they will provide operational oversight of UAS research flights performed under the Northern Plains UAS Test Site and the Vantis Beyond Visual Line of Site statewide project, Vantis. Vantis is a multi-million dollar program requiring additional roles and responsibilities for supporting commercialization of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems industry.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Division Management
    • Provide strong leadership that conveys NPUASTS commitment to highest levels of aviation and safety standards for administration, management, employees, and users of the NPUASTS.
    • Oversee, direct, and lead the Operations Division personnel.
    • Provide mentoring and direct supervision of Operations Division personnel.
    • Promote a culture of safety within NPUASTS, and oversee safety promotion within the Operations Division.
    • Provide operational oversight of flights performed under/by/coordination with the NPUASTS.
    • Responsible for the safe execution of all UAS flight and range operations conducted and overseen by the NPUASTS.
    • Plan, organize, and manage project tasks of Operations Division to ensure tasks are accomplished in a timely and consistent manner with organizational or project requirements.
    • Develop, maintain, and enforce crew qualification and proficiency requirements.
    • Monitor operations to ensure personnel comply with administrative and flight operation policies and procedures, safety rules, and government regulations.
  • Support Operational Programs
    • Provide operational recommendations relating to flight operations performed under the NPUASTS.
    • Coordinate with project managers on spending to ensure that expenses are consistent with approved budgets.
    • Support and participate in project testing, certification, and operational efforts.
    • Coordinate operational personnel, field services, and logistics support for all flight operations.
    • Oversee the development and execution of detailed test plans/cards in alignment with project objectives.
    • Represent and coordinate with stakeholders of the NPUASTS and Vantis.
    • Support the execution of program events such as conferences, summits, visitor requests, site visits, orientations, and community outreach. Travel as required.
  • Support Operational Processes and Equipment
    • Responsible for facilitating all matters related to the safe conduct of operations such as airspace approval, airworthiness certification, and crew qualifications.
    • Develop and maintain flight operations policies, procedures, and standards, to include the General Operations Manual or other appropriate manuals.
    • Responsible for the development, maintenance, and documentation of procedures to ensure safe and efficient operations of all NPUASTS aircraft.
    • Manage flight operation daily processes such as flight planning, preflight, and maintenance.
    • Responsible for compliance with Emergency Response Plan. Coordinate, as required, incident, accident and occurrence event investigations.
    • Actively monitor regulatory and certification requirements for operational compliance.
    • Support multi-stakeholder standards and industry activities.
    • Ensure that Operations Division personnel have the necessary resources to perform the functions of their positions in compliance with applicable regulations.
    • Oversee maintenance of equipment and facilities including ensuring aircraft are in airworthy condition, safe and legal to fly.
  • Other Duties as assigned
    • Ability to work outside regular business hours to meet operational requirements.
    • Provide Subject Matter Expert support to the Vantis statewide network program.
    • Support Vantis statewide network program in accordance with other operational program and process duties.

Required Competencies

  • Proficient with Office365 applications.
  • Willingness and ability to travel, as required.
  • Willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends, as required.
  • Demonstrated strong interpersonal, teamwork, written and verbal communication skills.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to perform without direct supervision.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail.
  • Proven ability to handle multiple priorities in busy office setting.
  • Proven ability to provide excellent customer service to a wide variety of clients.
  • Proven ability to follow oral and written instructions.

Minimum Requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in an aviation related field.
  • Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC) license.
  • Manned aircraft pilot license.
  • 5 years of UAS operations experience.
  • Experience providing flight instruction of manned aircraft operations towards a pilot certificate.
  • Experience providing flight instruction for UAS operations.
  • Experience developing UAS concepts of operation.
  • Experience developing operations manuals and standard operating procedures.
  • Experience developing UAS training curriculums.
  • Experience acquiring advanced FAA approvals such as Part 107 waivers, and exemptions.
  • Valid Driver's License.
  • Successful completion of criminal history records check.
  • Export Control Compliance: This position requires compliance with U.S. government export control laws and regulations. Applicants are required to be eligible for employment under U.S. export control laws and must meet the requirement of being a "U.S. Person" (U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or protected individual as defined by 8 U.S.C.1324b (a)(3)). UND will not sponsor applicants for employment authorization for this position. Information collected in this regard will only be to ensure compliance with U.S. export control laws and will be used in compliance with all laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of national origin and other factors.

Preferred Qualifications

  • 8+ years of aviation experience.
  • NPUASTS operational experience.
  • Master's degree.

Minimum Hiring Salary/Position Classification

Commensurate with Experience, Exempt, Full-Time, Benefited


Includes single or family health care coverage (premiums paid for by the university), basic life insurance, EAP, retirement plan, tuition waiver, annual and sick leave. Optional benefits available: supplemental life, dental, vision, flexible spending account, supplemental retirement plans.

To Apply

For full consideration, all application materials must be fully submitted by 11:59PM on the closing date.

Additional Information

To find out why living and working in Greater Grand Forks is way cooler, check out Grand Forks is Cooler .

All information listed in this position announcement will be used by Human Resources, the Hiring Department, and EO/Title IX for screening, interviewing and selection purposes.

Confidentiality of Application Materials

Pursuant to NDCC 44-04-18.27, applications and any records related to the applications that identify an applicant are confidential, except records related to the finalists of the position, which are open to the public after the search committee has identified the top three finalists who will be invited to campus.

EEO Statement

The University of North Dakota is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or other protected characteristic. Women, minorities, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and members of other underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants are invited to provide information regarding their gender, race and/or ethnicity, veteran’s status and disability status as part of the application process. This information will remain confidential and separate from your application.

Veteran’s Preference

Veterans claiming preference must submit all proof of eligibility by the closing date. Proof of eligibility includes a DD-214 or NGB 22 and if claiming disabled status, a current letter of disability from the VA dated within the last 12 months.

Clery Statement

In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the University of North Dakota publishes an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The report includes the university’s policies, procedures, and programs concerning safety and security, as well as three years’ of crime statistics for our campus. As a prospective employee, you are entitled to a copy of this report. The report and statistical data can be found online at You may also request a paper copy of the report from the UND Police Department located at 3851 Campus Road, Grand Forks, ND, 58202.


The University of North Dakota is one of the largest employers in the region. The University provides a comprehensive benefits package that includes full health insurance premium coverage for single or family plans, a retirement plan, tuition benefits for employees, as well as for the spouse and dependents of the employee, on-campus training programs, exclusive internal recruitment opportunities, as well as many other benefits.

Find Us
264 Centennial Drive
Stop 7127
Grand Forks
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