University of Redlands
Small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS) Policy

Updated October 30, 2020

Purpose and Scope

The University of Redlands supports the safe use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) on and off its properties for research, education, and other endeavors that support the University’s mission.

This policy applies to both the outdoor and indoor use of sUAS operated by anyone for any purpose, from, on, or over the University of Redlands campus, its regional campuses, and other University of Redlands properties. This policy also applies to the use of sUAS by University of Redlands faculty, students, and staff away from University of Redlands property for University-sanctioned activities.

The Center for Spatial Studies is charged with implementation of this policy, and thus will be responsible for administering the review and approval process for sUAS activities subject to this policy.

Definitions

For the purposes of this policy, an unmanned aerial system (UAS) Is “…an unmanned aircraft and the equipment necessary for the safe and efficient operation of that aircraft.” An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “…is a component of a UAS. It is defined by statute as an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.” (Public Law 112-95, Section 331(8)). A small UAV (sUAV) is a UAV that weighs less than 55 pounds (25 kg). UAS refers to the UAV(s), payload(s), operating environment, and the personnel involved (e.g., Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC), Visual Observers (VO), Operating Site Property Owner and/or manager (OSPO), Faculty, Staff, Students, and others participating in a UAS mission). An sUAS is a UAS that includes an sUAV. A private sUAS is an sUAS that includes an sUAV owned by the operator.

Policies

Specific Guidelines for Operation of sUAS on University of Redlands Properties

1. The sUAS will be flown no higher than 400 feet above ground level.
2. The sUAS may not be flown over people not directly involved in the mission.
3. Visual line of sight with the sUAS will be maintained at all times.
4. The sUAS may not be flown recklessly or by an operator who is impaired.
5. Upon request, the drone operator must provide evidence of liability coverage with at least a $1,000,000 per occurrence limit to include an endorsement for bodily injury, property damage, and premises damage liability caused by sUAS operations.
6. The sUAS and sUAS pilot must be registered with the FAA in accordance with current regulations.
7. The sUAS must be flown in accordance with all applicable federal and state regulations for sUAS, as well as the following local community guidelines: Flying a Drone in Redlands.

sUAS Use by Third Parties Not Affiliated with the University of Redlands

sUAS flights operated by third parties on or above University lands, including recreational operators, commercial UAV operators, and participants in contracted events held on University campuses are not permitted unless such flights are approved by the Center for Spatial Studies.

Third parties may seek approval for flights by completing this online form at least three days before a flight.

Third parties who are approved to fly an sUAS on University properties must follow appropriate guidelines for recreational and commercial operators published at https://www.faa.gov/uas/.

sUAS Use by Faculty, Student Employees, and Staff of the University of Redlands and Authorized Vendors for Instruction, Research, and Administration

All sUAS flights from, on, or over University of Redlands property by faculty, student employees, and staff of the University of Redlands and authorized vendors for instructional, research, administrative, and other purposes must be approved by the Center for Spatial Studies.

Approval for flights may be obtained by completing completing this online form at least three days before a flight.

Examples of such flights are:
• sUAS flights as a part of University courses or research activities conducted by faculty and/or students;
• sUAS flights for administrative purposes (e.g., conducting roof inspections, capturing images or video of a university event, or mapping university buildings)

The Remote Pilot in Command (RPIC) for all such flights must have a current Remote Pilot Airman Certificate issued by the FAA and fly in accordance with the requirements of FAA sUAS Part 107: The Small UAS Rule.

Accordingly, as required by the Small UAS Rule, the RPIC
• Must operate the sUAS controls for such flights or
• Supervise the person operating the sUAS controls.

sUAS missions for research, instruction, and administrative purposes by faculty, student employees, staff, and vendors must be supervised by a licensed RPIC. As specified by FAA regulations, the RPIC for such missions is responsible for ensuring compliance with Part 107 regulations.

Private sUAS Use by Faculty, Students, and Staff of the University of Redlands for Recreational and Academic Purposes

Operation of private sUAS by faculty, students, and staff of the University of Redlands is permitted for recreational and academic purposes on and off University properties. Such operators are referred to as recreational users. Recreational UAS operators must follow FAA guidelines published at https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/. Examples of permissible recreational and academic sUAS flights include:

• Flying a private sUAS on or off University of Redlands properties for fun;
• Flying a private sUAS on or off University of Redlands properties by students to gather images and/or data for class projects and/or academic research;
• Flying a private sUAS on or off University of Redlands properties by faculty, student employees, and staff for purposes unrelated to their employment with the University of Redlands.

Recreational operators are responsible for ensuring that their sUAS is registered according to the guidelines published by the FAA at https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/register_drone/.

Recreational operators should complete this online form at least three days before a flight when planning to fly a private UAS over a significant portion of campus.

Faculty, student employees, and staff of the University of Redlands who fly private sUAS for purposes related to their employment are not recreational operators. A licensed RPIC must be present for such missions. Examples of non-hobbyist sUAS missions include:
• A faculty member flying a private sUAS for a class he or she is teaching;
• A staff member flying a private sUAS to inspect University properties or document campus events;
• A student research assistant flying a private sUAS for a faculty member’s research project.

Use of sUAS by University of Redlands Faculty, Student Employees, and Staff Away from University of Redlands Property

All sUAS flights away from University of Redlands property by faculty, student employees, and staff of the University of Redlands and authorized vendors for instructional, research, and administrative purposes must be approved and logged by the Center for Spatial Studies. Examples of such flights are:

• sUAS missions as a part of a class field trip or May-term course;
• sUAS missions conducted away from University properties by a faculty member, staff member, student employee, or vendor as part of a research project;
• sUAS missions conducted away from University properties by a faculty member, staff member, student employee, or vendor as part of funded videography projects;

sUAS missions for research, instruction, and administrative purposes away from campus by faculty, student employees, staff, and vendors must be supervised by a licensed RPIC. All such flights by faculty, student employees, staff, and sanctioned vendors must follow the requirements of the FAA for commercial operators: https://www.faa.gov/uas/commercial_operators/.

Penalties for Unsafe or Unauthorized Use of sUAS

Penalties for unsafe or unauthorized use of sUAS by faculty, students, staff, authorized vendors, and visitors to University properties may include criminal and/or civil penalties under applicable law. In addition, individuals may also be subject to discipline under other applicable institutional policies. Penalties can include loss of flying privileges.

Insurance

Faculty, student, and staff recreational operators; authorized vendors; and third parties authorized to fly sUAS missions from, on, or over University of Redlands property must provide evidence of general liability coverage with at least a $1,000,000 per occurrence limit to include an endorsement for bodily injury, property damage, and premises damage liability caused by sUAS operations.

Procedures

Using a University of Redlands sUAS for Instruction, Research, and/or Administration

The Center for Spatial Studies has a fleet of sUAVs that may be used for instruction, research, and administrative purposes. Contact the Center for Spatial Studies (spatialstudies@redlands.edu) to inquire about using an University sUAS for these purposes.

Consultation About sUAS Missions for Instruction, Research, and/or Administration

The Center for Spatial Studies has three licensed RPICs who also have expertise in processing and spatial analysis of sUAV images. They are available for consultation and mission planning. Send an email to spatialstudies@redlands.edu to request a consultation.

Scheduling sUAS Missions for Research, Instruction, and Academic Purposes

University of Redlands faculty; student employees; staff; authorized vendors; faculty; students; and staff recreational operators, and third parties not affiliated with the University of Redlands should contact the Center for Spatial Studies to schedule sUAS missions in accordance with the policies outlined above.

Approval for flights may be obtained by completing this online form at least three days before a flight.

Reporting Violations of University of Redlands sUAS Policies and Other Inappropriate sUAS Activities

Violations of University sUAS policies and other inappropriate sUAS activities should be reported to the Center for Spatial Studies and/or Public Safety. The Center for Spatial Studies may be reached at spatialstudies@redlands.edu. Public Safety may be reached at 909-748-8888.

Reporting sUAS Accidents and Damage to People and/or Property

sUAS accidents involving harm to people and/or property should be reported to Public Safety by calling 909-748-8888.

Questions About sUAS Policies and Procedures

Contact the Center for Spatial Studies (spatialstudies@redlands.edu) for questions about the University’s sUAS policies and procedures.

Training

Training is available from the Center for Spatial Studies on how to plan and conduct sUAS missions, gather sUAS data, process and analysis sUAS data, and integrate sUAS data products into geographic information systems. Contact the Center for Spatial Studies at spatialstudies@redlands.edu for information about such training. Center for Spatial Studies staff can also help faculty, students, and staff prepare for the FAA’s Remote Pilot Airman Certificate examination.