Safety Policies

SY45 Use of Unmanned Aircraft ("UA")

Policy Status: 


Policy Steward: 

Assistant Vice-President for Police and Public Safety / Director of Environmental Health and Safety



To define the requirements for the use of Unmanned Aircraft (“UA”) on University owned or controlled property, or elsewhere for University-affiliated activities.


Pursuant to all applicable federal, state and local laws, this policy governs the use of Unmanned Aircraft (“UA”) to ensure their safe and orderly use. According to current FAA guidance, all use of UA for University purposes (including for education, research and public service) requires appropriate FAA approvals.  The University does not currently possess FAA approval.  Therefore, all OUTDOOR use of UA for University purposes is prohibited until further notice. 


Unmanned Aircraft (“UA”) is any contrivance invented, used or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.


There are public safety concerns that must be addressed.  The following operational restrictions apply to all UA used on University owned or controlled property, or for University-affiliated activities.

  1. UA shall not create an undue hazard to University owned or controlled property, the University community or the public at any time, and they may not be operated in a way which unduly affects the environment of those working within a building, or those entering, exiting or walking around a facility.
  2. UA may not be operated above public open-air events, inside public venues or above thoroughfares.
  3. UA must be under the control of the operator at all times.
  4. All UA operated outdoors must be operated pursuant to current FAA guidelines. 
  5. If the UA is used in support of research, teaching or testing, faculty, staff or research associates must supervise student use of UA.
  6. If a University unit arranges for a contractor or a third party to use a UA for purposes associated with a University facility or event, the unit shall contact the Risk Management Office to ensure that the UA owner and operator has adequate liability insurance and takes the risk mitigation arrangements deemed appropriate.
  7. UA may not be operated within a 5 mile radius of any airport designated by the FAA, without prior notice by the operator of the UA to the airport operator and air traffic control tower.


For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this policy, please contact University Police & Public Safety.


AD53 - Privacy Statement

SY04 - Employee Accidents - Reporting and Investigation

SY05 - Persons, Other Than Students or Employees, Who Are Injured or Become Ill on University Property

Effective Date: September 2, 2015
Date Approved: September 1, 2015
Date Published: September 2, 2015

Most Recent Changes:

  • September 1, 2015 - The POLICY and USE OF AN UNMANNED AIRCRAFT sections have been revised to clarify the point that all uses of UA for all University purposes must be done in accordance with the FAA guidelines.

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • October 23, 2014 - New policy.