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Policy on the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems - 6F4

  1. Purpose

    The intent of the Policy on the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is to facilitate the use of UAS technology for research, teaching, business operations and outreach activities while protecting the safety and privacy of faculty, staff, students, visitors and the community; protecting University buildings and property; and addressing liability, insurance and regulatory concerns. This Policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, University contractors and visitors.
  2. Definition of an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)

    For purposes of this Policy, the term UAS means the unmanned aircraft (including drones) and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft.

    The unmanned aircraft is the flying portion of the system, flown via a ground control system, or autonomously through use of an on-board computer, communication links and any additional equipment that is necessary for the UAS to operate safely.

  3. Permitted Uses and Operation of UAS and Approvals

    1. Uses including Research, Teaching, Business Operations, Outreach and Third-Party Operations.

      No one may operate a UAS on or in University property or for University-related purposes outside of University property without the approval of the University.  Anyone planning to operate a UAS on or in University property, or for University-related purposes not on University property, must submit a request to operate the UAS to the Associate Provost for Research (APR). [The request form is located at] Requests to utilize UAS for research, teaching, business operations and third-party operations are subject to the review and approval of the University. This process will ensure that FAA regulations are being adhered to, and that appropriate insurance is in place.  The APR will review the request in consultation with the appropriate University officials or governing bodies to ensure the safety and welfare of persons, property, as well as fauna and flora. This consultation will include, but may not be limited to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration, Facilities Management, and Chief of University Police.  If requests are approved, the APR shall notify the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Administration, the Chief of University Police, Marketing, and other relevant units as needed, to inform them of the approved flight activity.

    2. Recreational or Hobby Uses.

      Individuals operating UAS for recreational or hobby purposes must register and request permission for recreational or hobby use through the Office of the Director of Administrative Services. [The request form is located at] The use of UAS on or in University owned, rented or leased property and buildings by any person for recreational or hobby purposes is restricted to the model airplane field. Individuals operating UAS’s on the model airplane field must adhere strictly to FAA regulations covering recreational or hobby use, and shall be held liable for damages to persons or property. Persons operating UAS’s for recreational use on the model airplane field shall have appropriate liability insurance in advance of such operation.
  4. University Authority

    The APR is authorized to implement this policy and to delegate administrative functions necessary to ensure compliance by the University community.
  5. Sanctions

    Violations of this policy will be handled pursuant to applicable disciplinary procedures for faculty, staff and students, as appropriate.
  6. Acknowledgements

    Adapted from Washington University in St. Louis.

Approved by Chancellor effective 3/25/16

This policy was issued on December 7 2020.
This policy had non-substantive edits on December 7, 2020, replacing the March 29, 2017 version.

Document Reference: 6F4
Origin: OC 3/25/16; GR 19/20-06

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