Thursday, June 14, 2018

On Monday, June 11, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois approved the new University Policy 717, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).

The use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), more commonly known as drones, on campus has increased significantly during the last few years. Use of such equipment presents great opportunities for the University but presents some risks that must be addressed as well.

There are federal and state laws and regulations that users must adhere to when operating such equipment. This new University policy addresses these issues and provides guidance to various constituents who may be operating drones on campus. 

Several units across campus already have begun using drones for University purposes. Such use is considered “governmental” by the FAA, which requires that certain registrations and licenses be obtained and that operators follow numerous restrictions when flying. Hobbyists also operate drones on campus, which have fewer general requirements for license and registration but present a variety of risks for the University. 

The purpose of this new policy is to require individuals operating drones on campus to notify the University of such operation so the University can ensure that any necessary licenses and registrations have been obtained, insurance on University property has been appropriately acquired, and risks have been identified and mitigated to the extent possible. It also sets forth the expectation that operators abide by all state and federal laws, regulations, restrictions, requirements and guidelines.