Unmanned Aircraft Systems Policy

Policy Number: 
IV.05.07
Reason for Policy: 

The purpose of this Policy is to facilitate the operation of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) and model aircraft for teaching and research; mitigate any risks to individuals and organizations potentially affected by UAS and model aircraft operations; and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws, as well as regulations and contracts.     

Entities Affected by this Policy: 

This Policy applies to all University of Oregon employees, students, volunteers, vendors, and all visitors (invitees and licensees) who operate or seek to operate all aircraft, including UAS and model aircraft, on or above any University property or at any University sponsored event.

Emergency landings and landings for emergency support (e.g., Life Flight) are not governed by this Policy.  Nor are UAS flights by University of Oregon employees unrelated to their University employment and not on or above any University property or at any University sponsored event.

Enactment & Revision History: 

Approved by University President Michael Schill on March 28, 2017.

Policy: 

OVERVIEW

UAS and model aircraft offer significant opportunities for teaching and research and provide the University community with valuable experiences in a wide range of disciplines. At the same time, UAS and model aircraft present unique health and safety risks, environmental risks, regulatory issues, and privacy concerns that must be balanced with the University’s other missions.  The University of Oregon is committed to providing an academically vigorous, safe, and secure environment for all individuals.  Inherent risks in operation of UAS and model aircraft necessitate proper safety practices, privacy restrictions, insurance protections, and requisite oversight of and authority for operation of UAS and model aircraft on University property, University sponsored events, or offsite in support of the University’s research, teaching, and business activities.

Operation of UAS and model aircraft is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) and federal, state, and local laws.  The University shall develop procedures to comply with this Policy and all applicable statutory and regulatory expectations governing the operation of UAS and model aircraft, and to reduce risks to safety, security, and privacy.

Any UAS or model aircraft operation by University employees, students, volunteers, vendors, and all visitors (invitees and licensees) must be approved in advance by Safety and Risk Services’ (“SRS”) Chief Resiliency Officer (or their designee) through the UAS Procedures referenced below.  All such operations must also comply with all federal, state, and local laws and University policies. 

GUIDELINES

I.          Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation (“Research and Innovation”) and Safety and Risk Services (“SRS”), will assist with processing requests for UAS and model aircraft activities consistent with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and University of Oregon (UO) policy requirements.

II.         FAA regulations; federal, state, and local laws; and applicable UO policies must be followed in conjunction with any UAS or model aircraft activities.

III.        Operation of UAS or model aircraft on any UO property or at any UO sponsored event is prohibited unless approved in advance by SRS’ Chief Resiliency Officer or their designee.  SRS will seek review and input from Research and Innovation, the UO Police Department (UOPD), the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), and other stakeholders familiar with a particular request.

IV.        Do not use UAS or model aircraft to monitor or record activities where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

A.         Using a UAS or model aircraft to record or observe areas such as camps or campus settings where minors are cared for or taught is prohibited unless expressly approved by SRS in advance.

B.         UAS and model aircraft must not be used for unapproved recordings of any campus events or performances, or for any unlawful purpose.

C.         Do not use a UAS or model aircraft to see inside a building unless expressly approved by SRS in advance.

V.         Do not operate or participate in the use of UAS or model aircraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or in a reckless or careless manner.

VI.        Do not operate UAS or model aircraft directly over non-participants in the flight operations unless expressly approved by FAA and UO.

VII.       Do not fly a UAS or model aircraft beyond line of sight. 

VIII.      Under FAA guidelines, Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) may be implemented on UO property or at any UO sponsored event, which prohibit any type of UAS or model aircraft operations from taking place (e.g., UO sporting events).  As needed, UO may issue additional “No Drone Zones” on UO property or at any UO sponsored event, which prohibit any type of UAS operations from taking place.  (For example, the FAA prohibits all aircraft at or below 3,000 feet within a 3-mile radius of any stadium with a seating capacity of 30,000 or more people when there is a NCAA Division I football game occurring and one hour before and after the game.)

IX.        The operation of UAS by UOPD and/or the UO Emergency Operations Center (EOC) may be exempt from this policy based on the determination of emergency needs.  During such operations UOPD will follow internal department protocols consistent with federal, state, and local laws.

X.         UAS Operated for Civil/Commercial or Public Operations/Government Purposes on Behalf of the University of Oregon.

A.         Any University employee wishing to operate a UAS as part of their University employment, or any student, volunteer, vendor, or visitor (invitee or licensee) wishing to operate a UAS on behalf of UO, must do so under a Section 333 Exemption and              Certificate of Authorization (COA) issue by the FAA, or a civil operation under Part 107. 
B.         UAS owned by the UO of Oregon and used on behalf of the UO for Civil/Commercial or Public Operations/Government purposes will be operated under the authorization of the FAA, applicable federal, state, and local laws, and the UAS policy and procedures.

1.         This authorization could take the form of an FAA Section 333 Exemption or Part 107 approval (for civil/commercial use) or a Public Use COA (for public/government use), and will be limited to a specific location and outline the conditions, parameters, and limitations of flight operations.

2.         Those operating UAS under an FAA Section 333 Exemption or Part 107 approval must also review and be aware of all FAA specifications, and file for any necessary amendments in advance.

3.         UAS owned and operated by the UO and used for Civil/Commercial or Public Operations/Government purposes on behalf of the UO must also comply with any applicable state law requirements, such as UAS registration with the Oregon Department of Aviation.

4.         UOPD will work in conjunction with Research and Innovation, OGC, and local law enforcement jurisdictions for any UO sponsored events that do not occur on UO property.

XI.        UAS Operated for Hobby or Recreational Purposes (“Model Aircraft”) on University Property or at a UO-Sponsored Event.

A.         All UAS operated for a hobby or recreational purpose on UO property or at a UO-sponsored event are considered “model aircraft” for purposes of this policy. 

B.         Individuals may operate model aircraft for recreational purposes, provided that they obtain prior approval from SRS under the processes outlined in the UAS procedures and follow federal, state, and local law and UO policies, including but not limited to FAA guidelines and the Student Conduct Code.  Furthermore, the model aircraft remote pilot must comply with all federal, state, and local laws, UO policies, and the additional safety requirements listed in Section II.B of the UAS procedures.

C.         Any remote pilot of a model aircraft flown for hobby or recreational purposes on UO Property or at a UO-sponsored event found to be operating in an unsafe manner may, in addition to the consequences listed below (“Accountability”), be prohibited from additional flights on UO Property or at UO-sponsored events.

XII.       Data recorded from operation of a UAS on behalf of UO, including images, video and audio recordings, shall be maintained in accordance with university records retention policies and schedules and UAS procedures.

ACCOUNTABILITY

I.          Any individual or organization found to be operating a UAS or model aircraft on UO property or at a UO sponsored event in violation of any federal, state, or local law, or applicable UO policies or procedures (including the UAS Policy and procedures) will subject the responsible persons to discipline in accordance with applicable UO policies and Collective Bargaining Agreements (“CBAs”), an order to cease operation of the aircraft, and/or an order to leave the premises or property owned or controlled by UO.  Violators will be held accountable for their actions, including but not limited to:

A.         Volunteers are subject to reprimand or loss of volunteer status.

B.         Students are subject to the Student Conduct Code.

C.         Employees are subject to corrective action up to and including termination pursuant to applicable UO policies and CBAs.

D.         All are subject to the consequences resulting from the violation of federal, state, and local laws, which may include civil or criminal liability. 

II.         Violations will be considered in future UAS and model aircraft requests.

III.        Legal prohibitions regarding physical presence on campus, trespassing, and other legal action may also be pursued against individuals and organizations that operate UAS or model aircraft in violation of this policy and its procedures.

IV.        UO is not responsible for any damage resulting to a UAS or model aircraft.  Fines or damages incurred by individuals that do not comply with the UAS policy and/or procedures will not be paid by UO, and the remote pilot(s) will be responsible for any property damage or losses resulting from the operation of UAS or model aircraft.

Chapter/Volume: 
  • Volume IV: Finance, Administration and Infrastructure
  • Chapter 5: Public Safety and Risk Services
Responsible Office: 

For questions about this policy, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation at 541-346-2090.       

Original Source: 
UO Policy (New)