Policy Details

Date of Last Update

Approved By
  • Senior Leadership Team

Responsible Office
Public Safety


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Unmanned Aircraft System / Drone Policy

SLT 6.20

  1. Policy Statement
  2. Procedures
  3. Definitions

Policy Statement

Operation of an Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS) is prohibited over University Property by  students, employees, vendors, contractors and other members of the public except with prior written approval from the Vice President for Finance and Administration of the University. Permission to operate a UAS over University Property will only be granted to University departments needing to operate a UAS for the benefit of the University. Operation of Model Aircraft is not permitted over University Property.

Purchasing of UAS also requires prior written approval from the Vice President for Finance and Administration. Potential purchasers may be employees, students or departments using University funds being disbursed through a University account, including grant funds.



Consideration will only be given for purchasing and/or operating a UAS if the written request to the Department of Public Safety includes all of the following:

1.            exact dates and times of intended operation;

2.            campus location and intended flight path;

3.            the University purpose for the use of the UAS;

4.            a current 333 exemption or Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) or a Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or documentation verifying that the individual operating the UAS is fully authorized by the FAA to do so;

5.            a photograph of the UAS with registration numbers attached or provision of FAA paperwork that identifies the registration numbers of the UAS being operated on  the campus;

6.            The Vice President for Finance and Administration will submit written approval for the purchase and/or operation of a UAS to the Department of Public Safety.

Operation of UAS on University property is to be done in accordance with only part 107 of the FAA rules for certified remote pilots and commercial operators.  All rules of part 107 apply to operation on University property with the exception of prohibited external load and transportation of property for compensation or hire.  Only the Vice President for Finance and Administration may waive any of the part 107 rules.

In operating a UAS for purposes of recording or transmitting visual images, operators must take all reasonable measures to avoid intrusions into areas normally considered private.

All uses of UAS must comply with the following:

1.            UAS must not be used to monitor or record areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in accordance with accepted social norms. These areas include but are not limited to restrooms, locker rooms, individual living center rooms, changing or dressing rooms, health treatment rooms, daycare facilities and classrooms during periods of instruction. UAS may not fly closer than thirty (30) feet outside a window of any university building.

2.            UAS may not be used to monitor or record institutional or personal information, which may be found in an individual’s workspace, on computers or on other electronic devices.

3.            UAS may not be used inside of any University building without prior permission given by an Executive Officer of the University.

Enforcement of Complaints

Any violations of this policy will be dealt with in accordance with applicable University procedures which may include disciplinary actions and where appropriate, legal action. All complaints concerning the operation of UAS over University Property should be referred to the Department of Public Safety. Users will also be subject to applicable Federal and State laws.

Any FAA fines incurred by individuals or departments will be the responsibility of the individuals involved.


For purposes of this Policy, these terms should have the following meaning:

University Property – Buildings, grounds and land owned or controlled by the University.

Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) – UAS are also known as or may be characterized as unmanned aircraft systems or Drone.

According to  the FAA, a  UAS is  the Uncrewed aircraft and all of  the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the Uncrewed aircraft. UAS may have a variety of names including but not limited to quadcopter and quadrotor, FAA regulation applies to UAS regardless of size or weight. Model aircraft are not considered by the FAA as UAS and have different regulations.

COA – Certificate of Authorization or Waiver. The COA is an authorization issued by the FAA to a public operator for a specific UAS activity. After a complete application is submitted, FAA conducts a comprehensive operational and technical review. If necessary, provisions or limitations may be imposed as part of the approval to ensure the UAS can operate safely with other airspace users. In most cases, FAA will provide a formal response within 60 days from the time a completed application is submitted.

333 Exemption – FAA exemption based on Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) which grants the Secretary of Transportation the authority to determine whether an airworthiness certificate is required for a UAS to operate safely in the National Airspace System.

Remote Pilot Certificate- Certificate of authorization issued by the FAA to public operator for commercial operation of UAS activity of a craft under 55 lbs. in weight.

*It is the University’s practice is to use gender-inclusive terms in its policies, however, this term is used for consistency with federal regulations.