Portrait of Paul  Snyder

Paul Snyder

  • Assistant Chair, Director of UAS Program, Aviation
    • Safety Management System, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Flight Operations

Contact Info

Office Address

Robin Hall Room 333M
4251 University Ave Stop 9036
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9036


Paul Snyder is an assistant professor in the Aviation Department at the University of North Dakota (UND). Paul Snyder has recently taught Safety Management Systems (SMS), Introduction and Advanced UAS Operations courses and advanced flight instructor courses.  Professor Snyder continues to be active in flight operations as the Assistant Chair/Director of the UAS Program, an Insitu Certified ScanEagle UAS pilot, and a UND Chief Flight Instructor. 


Prior to joining the faculty at UND, Paul Snyder worked 20 years in flight training and aviation management. He began his career as a line flight instructor teaching students for various pilot and flight instructor certificates and additional ratings.  Since 1998, Mr. Snyder has managed flight operations of 7 different training centers throughout the United States, including the oversight of factory training for Cirrus Aircraft from 2002 – 2009.  As part of FAA Industry Training Standards (FITS) research, Paul Snyder participated in the development and promotion of scenario based training curriculum in technically advanced aircraft.  In 2001, Paul Snyder was designated by the FAA as a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner.  Mr. Snyder conducted FAA practical tests in the State of North Dakota for private, commercial, and instructor certificates, and instrument ratings in single and multi-engine aircraft.  In 2002, Mr. Snyder became the Chief Flight Instructor of Extension Programs for the University of North Dakota. In 2006, Paul Snyder established an aviation consulting partnership specializing in fleet aircraft acquisition, overall program evaluation, and safety management systems. In 2010, FAA Great Lakes Region approached UND to participate in a voluntary SMS program for Part 141 Pilot Schools.  Paul participated in the creation of UND’s FAR Part 141 Pilot School’s Safety Management System (SMS). Currently, UND is the only Part 141 Pilot School to obtain Active Conformance from the FAA under the SMS Voluntary Program. In unison with the creation of an SMS program, he participated in FAA research funded by the Center of General Aviation Research (CGAR) to provide resources and tools for Part 141 schools to adopt SMS.   As part of UAS research with Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), Paul satisfactorily completed manufacture training for the Insitu ScanEagle remotely piloted aircraft and assisted in the initial development of UAS curriculum for Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) remotely piloted aircraft.  As a DOT certified SMS trainer, Professor Snyder is an active member of UND Safety Council, SMS committee and Events Review Team (ERT); providing SMS initial and recurrent training, analyzing flight data and conducting safety risk assessments to reduce risk within the organization. Related research activities include SMS in FAR Part 141 Schools, Identify Safe Integrations of Complex Digital Systems, Human Factors Considerations of UAS Procedures and Control Stations and UAS Beyond Visual Line of Sight.



Snyder, P. R., Ullrich, G. M. (2017). Practical Safety Management Systems. In Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. (Ed.), Practical Safety Management Systems (1st ed., vol. 1, pp. 216). Newcastle, Washington: Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc.. www.asa2fly.com/reader/SMS

Recipient of the 2017 John K. Lauber Safety Award in recognition of outstanding achievement to aviation safety. 

DOT Safety Risk Management Trainer, Department of Transportation - Transport Safety Institute. (August 2010 - Present).

 Advanced Accident Investigation Course Completed (June 2011)

 DOT Internal Evaluation Program Training for Safety Management Systems, Department of Transportation- Transportation Safety Institute –. (June 2016)

 ScanEagle UAV Pilot, Boeing Insitu. (September 2012 - Present).

 Chief Flight Instructor, Federal Aviation Administration. (August 2000 - Present).

 Commercial Certificate with Instrument Rating, Federal Aviation Administration. (September 1992 - Present).

 Designated Pilot Examiner, Federal Aviation Administration. (October 2002 - October 31, 2018).

 Certified Flight Instructor - Multi-engine, Federal Aviation Administration. (September 1995 - Present).

 Certified Flight Instructor - Instrument Airplane, Federal Aviation Administration. (May 1994 - Present).

 Flight Instructor Certificate, Federal Aviation Administration. (December 1992 - Present).

MS, University of North Dakota, 2006.

Major: Educational Leadership

Supporting Areas of Emphasis: Higher Education


BS, University of North Dakota, 1993.

Major: Aeronautical Studies

Supporting Areas of Emphasis: Geography