Drones on Campus

The operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as drones, has become increasingly popular for a growing number of educational, commercial, and safety purposes. UAS also offer significant teaching and research opportunities at the University of Arizona. At the same time, UAS present health, safety, and environmental risks, as well as privacy concerns that must be balanced with the University’s other missions. UAS are also heavily regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The University is committed to providing an innovative, safe, and secure environment for all individuals. To that end, the University has recently enacted UAS Policy and Procedures establish safety practices, privacy restrictions, and oversight of UAS and model aircraft on university property and University-sponsored events. The UAS Policy applies to three different types of UAS Operations:

  • Public/Government Operations
  • Civil/Commercial Operations
  • Hobby or Recreational Use is strictly prohibited

Anyone wishing to operate a UAS or model aircraft on University of Arizona property or at a University-sponsored event is required to obtain approval from Risk Management Services prior to operation by submitting a completed UAS Drone Approval Request at least 14 days in advance of the requested flight date. Third parties or vendors who seek to operate a UAS on University property or at a University-sponsored event will be asked to provide insurance coverage in the amount required by the University of Arizona to cover UAS operations.

For University departments wishing to initiate flight operations on a continuous basis, a UAS Blanket Authorization Permit may be requested.

How To Request UAS (Drone) Approval

  1. Assemble necessary documents and information
    1. Copy of remote pilot's license for all operators involved in the activity
    2. Copy of Certificate of Insurance, naming the University of Arizona as "additional insured" (under "Description of Operations," the following verbiage pertaining to additional insured should appear: "The University of Arizona, State of Arizona, and the Arizona Board of Regents.")
    3. Map of flight plan (Note: FAA code [14 CFR § 107.39] prohibits flights over persons unless that person is "directly participating in the operation of the small unmanned aircraft" or is "located under a covered structure or inside a stationary vehicle that can provide reasonable protection from falling small unmanned aircraft.")
    4. FAA registration number of all UAS' to be flown
  2. Review the University of Arizona Drone Policy.
  3. Submit a Drone Approval Request and attach any important documents you would like to include with your request.
  4. Approval

After submission, you’ll receive an acknowledgement of receipt from Risk Management Services, and possibly follow-up questions. You will receive approval or denial within 14 business days of submission.

Any questions can be sent to RMS-Contact@arizona.edu