Unmanned Aircraft Systems ("Drone") Policy
The operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), including Drones and model aircraft, hereinafter collectively referred to as UAS, is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and relevant to state and local laws and regulations.
This policy applies to:
- University employees or students, operating a UAS in any location as part of University academic course work or activities, or as part of their University employment;
- The operation by any person of UAS with funding through the University, including university accounts, grants, or auxiliary funds,
- The hiring for or contracting for any UAS service by university personnel, and;
- The operation by any person of UAS on the University property.
- Owners must register their UAS if it weighs between .55 and 55 lbs.
- Any UAS weighing in excess of 55 lbs. must be registered with the FAA as an aircraft
Operating a UAS for hobby or recreational purposes on university property owned, managed, or leased by East Stroudsburg University is prohibited. Any faculty, staff, student, affiliated organization, contractor or member of the general public wanting to fly a UAS for hobby or recreational purposed should consult the local chapter of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) to find an AMA-sanctioned location where such use is approved.
All University users of UAS are expected to comply with all laws and regulations promulgated by the FAA, state law, and any other locally applicable laws or regulations.
These laws and regulations include, but are not limited to:
- No flying over people
- No flying within 25 feet of private property
- No flying above 400 feet
- No flying outside daytime hours, defined as 30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset
- No flying in an unsafe manner
- No flying beyond the operator’s ability to see the aircraft
- No flying while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- No flying in a manner that interferes with air traffic
- No flying close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard
- No monitoring, recording or photographing spaces where an individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, i.e. residence halls, residential lounges, campus daycare facilities, restrooms or locker rooms.
- No monitoring, recording or photographing sensitive institutional or personal information which may be found, for example, on an individuals work spaces, on computer or other electronic displays.
Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary actions in accordance with student conduct policies, collective bargaining agreements and other university wide safety procedures.
Legal prohibitions regarding physical presence on campus/trespassing apply to drones. Legal action may be pursued against parties that operate UAS in violation of this policy.
Fines or damages incurred by individuals or units that do not comply with this policy will not be paid by the University and will be the responsibility of those persons involved.
Reason for Policy:
The University must comply with FAA requirements, state law, and any other locally applicable laws or regulations regarding unmanned aircraft systems. Inherent risks in the operation of such equipment requires additional insurance provisions and policy considerations.
COA- Certificate of Authorization or Waiver. According to the FAA, the COA is an authorization issued by the Air Traffic Organization to a public operator for a specific UA activity. After a complete application is submitted, FAA conducts a comprehensive operational and technical review. If necessary, provisions or limitations may be imposed as part of the approval to ensure the UA can operate safely with other airspace users. In most cases, FAA will provide a formal response within 60 days from the time a completed application is submitted. An abbreviated COA is issued with a 333 exemption. The full COA is issued for governmental operations such as a police department. Research is not a “governmental operation.”
333 Exemption – FAA exemption based on Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) which grants the Secretary of Transportation the authority to determine whether an airworthiness certificate is required for a UAS to operate safely in the National Airspace System.
Model Aircraft - Model aircraft are considered differently by the FAA than other UAS and have different regulations. Model aircraft are not for business purposes, only for hobby and recreation. (Use of UAS related to the University does not qualify as model aircraft regulations.) Model aircraft must be kept within visual sideline of the operator, and should weigh under 55 pounds unless certified by an aeromodelling community-based organization. Model aircraft must be flown a sufficient distance from populated areas.
University Property: Buildings, grounds, and land that are owned by East Stroudsburg University or controlled by East Stroudsburg University, including, but not limited to, property covered by leases or other formal contractual arrangements to house ongoing University operations.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) - UAS are also known as or may be characterized as Drones. According to the FAA, a UAS is the unmanned aircraft and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft. UAS may have a variety of names including quadcopter, quadrotor, etc. FAA regulation applies to UAS regardless of size or weight. Model aircraft are not considered by the FAA as UAS and have different regulations.