Italy teen earns FAA license for drone business

Luke Didion doesn’t think of himself as tech-oriented. A junior at Naples High School, he said he’s driven largely by sports — soccer and skiing among others. But an interest in business got a jump start last summer after his mom, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty, came home with a suggestion.

“Someone came to her doorstep with a flyer,” said Luke, talking about the day his mom, Theresa Didion, pitched the idea. The flyer was an ad for drone services. “She said, you could do this,” he recalled.

That got him thinking — especially last summer while working as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. “That’s when I really got going with this drone thing,” said Luke, who turned 17 last month.

He began by taking an online course in August to orient himself to the world of drones. He liked what he learned. So he pursued a commercial certification and tested at SkyOp, a Canandaigua-based company that teaches people how to fly drones.

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