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Talking TIM: July 2024

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PDH Credit



The Talking TIM webinar series provides a forum where TIM practitioners can exchange information about current practices, programs, and technologies. Each month, Talking TIM will highlight successful programs, identify best practices, and showcase technology that advances the profession. Topics and presenters for this webinar include:

  • UAS Training and Operations for TIM—Aaron Fritch, Unmanned Aircraft Operations, Aircraft Operations Division, Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Drone as a First Responder—Jason Day, UAS Program Director, Aviation Operations Division, Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Highlights from the FHWA EDC-7 UAS Workshop—Jim Austrich, FHWA

Paul Jodoin, Jim Austrich, and Joseph Tebo, FHWA Office of Operations, organize and moderate this webinar series hosted by the National Operations Center of Excellence (NOCoE). To suggest topics or presenters for a future webinar, please reach out to the FHWA TIM Program Team (Paul Jodoin, Jim Austrich, and Joseph Tebo). Click here subscribe to Talking TIM webinar and other TIM-related announcements.


Captain Aaron Fritch, Unmanned Aircraft Operations, Aircraft Operations Division, Texas Department of Public Safety


Captain Aaron Fritch has been employed by the Texas Department of Public Safety for 19 years. He spent the first 17 years in the Texas Highway Patrol where he focused on collision reconstruction, having promoted up to the rank of Lieutenant where he oversaw this program. In 2022, he promoted to Captain of UAS Operations within the Aircraft Operations Division. He has been a Part 107 operator since 2017 and has accumulated roughly 200 flight hours across a variety of UAS.

Director Jason Day, UAS Program, Aviation Operations Division, Texas Department of Public Safety

Jason Day is the Director of Unmanned Aircraft at the Texas Department of Public Safety, bringing with him a wealth of experience from his 27-year tenure military, civilian, & public safety aviation. Widely recognized as a subject matter expert in the UAS community, Mr. Day specializes in public safety UAS operations & administration. In his role as Director, Mr. Day oversees one of the largest public safety UAS program in the nation with over 300 remote pilots & unmanned aircraft. His primary responsibilities include ensuring compliance with FAA regulations & maintaining the highest standards of safety in the department's UAS program. Texas DPS stands out as one of the most active UAS programs in the United States conducting 50,000 flights in 2023 & a remarkable 12,000 flight hours. Operating within the Aircraft Operations Division of Texas DPS, Mr. Day has actively participated in high-profile UAS missions, including disaster response, tactical operations, overwatch missions, & border operations.  Recognized for his expertise in joint manned/unmanned aircraft operations, Mr. Day holds a crucial seat in the Texas Air Operations Center, coordinating UAS operations during declared disasters in the state. As a key member of the Texas HB2340 Committee, Mr. Day played a pivotal role in developing policies, procedures, and training standards for UAS use by public safety agencies during disasters. Mr. Day developed and implemented the UAS Remote Pilot in Command training program for the department, earning recognition in Air Beat Magazine and serving as a template for various federal, state, and local public safety agencies. He has assisted countless public safety agencies across the world in establishing their UAS programs, emphasizing safety, compliance and transparency. Mr. Day’s contributions extend to numerous publications on topics related to public safety UAS operations. Actively engaged in the UAS community, Mr. Day is a member of numerous UAS & CUAS working groups and servers on multiple boards.

Jim Austrich, TIM Program Team, FHWA Office of Operations

Jim Austrich is the Program Manager for the National TIM Responder Training Program and part of the FHWA Office of Transportation Operations. Mr. Austrich is as a national leader in the Transportation Systems, Emergency Management and Operations field. Prior to FHWA, Mr. Austrich worked in the District of Columbia, Department of Transportation (DDOT), the DC Metropolitan Police Department’s (MPDC) Homeland Security Bureau, and the FHWA. Mr. Austrich is known for his ability to bring people together and work collaboratively, a people and agency bridge builder who believes in the three C’s of TIM—Communication, Cooperation, and Coordination. His experiences with planned special events and special operations in the DC area are numerous, including Presidential Inaugurations, dignitary funerals, and practically every type of event on the Washington Mall. Mr. Austrich is a graduate of the 2009 UMD/I-95CC Senior Management Academy. He has many transportation projects, panels, and committees to his credit.

Event Type:


Organizational Capability Element:

    Traffic Incident Management

Operations Area of Practice:

    Traffic Incident Management