Drones

The image depicts a drone flying near McMicken.  This webpage describes the process to get drone flights approved on campus.

What is an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)?

The law defines an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as "an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft." An unmanned aircraft does not have a human pilot onboard, but instead is controlled from the ground.  UAS are most commonly referred to as drones, but also include radio-controlled, fixed-wing aircrafts, helicopters, rotorcraft models, and quadcopters.

The operation of unmanned aircraft systems is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and relevant state law. University compliance will reduce any risks to the safety, security and privacy of the University commmunity in connection with UAS flights.  All UC owned UAS flights and/or UAS flights on UC property must be pre-approved

Recreational or hobbyist use of UAS is strictly prohibited on UC property at all times. Using a UAS to take photographs or videos for personal use is considered recreational use and is therefore prohibited.

What are the rules for UAS flights?

The FAA rules become effective in August 2016.  At that time, UAS flights are permissible under the following conditions:

  • Pilot must have a Remote Pilot Certificate and approval from the University available at all times during the flight
  • Pilot may only operate one aircraft at a time
  • Flight must take place during daylight hours
  • Flight cannot take place over people
  • Aircraft must weigh less than 55 lbs
  • Aircraft maximum groundspeed is less than 100 mph
  • Aircraft maximum altitude is 400 feet above ground level
  • Aircraft is within sight at all times during flight
  • Provide proper notifications to any hospital air care unit(s) within 2 nautical miles and any airport(s) within 5 nautical miles

If the flight does not meet these conditions, the University may seek a variance if the educational or research purpose is deemed mission critical.

 

TO DO:

As soon as practicable, but at least two weeks in advance of your scheduled UAS flight, the UC department/group must:

1.  Submit the following documentation to Enterprise Risk Management:

2.  Provide proper notifications to any hospital air care unit(s) within 2 nautical miles and any airport(s) within 5 nautical miles.