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UAV Policy

In this Section

Policy: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Policy

Date: 03/31/2015       Policy ID: HRM- (TBD)            Status: Final

Applies to: This policy applies to the entire University community, specifically students, faculty, administrators, staff, and visitors
to campus, whether they are guests or patrons.

Policy Statement

1. Purpose

2. Summary

3. Policy Statement
4. Definitions

5. Procedure

Policy Purpose:  As it does with other highly regulated technologies of  scholarly or other operational importance, Clarkson University seeks to permit UAVs and Drones to be utilized productively in a manner that fully meets institutional, legal, public safety and ethical responsibilities.

Policy Summary: To provide direction to anyone possessing or operating a UAV on Clarkson University property. Direction includes registration of specific UAV types, rules & regulations that govern the use along with specific sanctions for violating this policy.

Definition of Terms in Statement: For the purpose of this Clarkson University policy on UAV’s, the following classifications have been identified.  Recreational Aerial Vehicle and Drone (Definitions below)

Recreational Aerial Vehicle (RAV) – Any UAV fewer than ten pounds that is not equipped with any kind of camera or data collection device.

Drone – Any UAV fewer than ten pounds that has a camera or any data collection device installed.  This includes “First Person View” (FPV).

FPV – “First Person View” UAV.  Camera attached to a UAV solely used by operator to navigate vehicle.

FAA – Federal Aviation Administration

AMA – Academy of Model Aeronautics

ITAR – International Traffic in Arms Regulations

EAR – Export Administration Regulation

“Micro” (UAV) – Weighing less than one pound and made for “indoor/ outdoor use”

VLOS – Visual Line of Sight

Policy Statement: The use of un-crewed aerial vehicles (“UAVs”) along with aerial vehicles known as “drones”, can make significant contributions to University research and service/outreach in a variety of disciplines.  Additionally, aerial photography with UAVs can potentially assist in University Academic (Study, Research), land management, athletics, law enforcement and other support functions.

UAV regulation is emerging and multi-faceted.  Particularly with respect to UAVs, public concern with privacy is well documented.  UAV operational safety – entailing both UAV equipment and the pilots who operate it remotely -- is regulated by the FAA, although the FAA policy framework is likely to evolve significantly in the near future, this policy will change and remain compliant.


  • All Student, Staff and Academic Departments possessing a UAV on campus will be subject to these regulations.
  • The department of Campus Safety & Security will enforce these regulations as they do with all university regulations.
  • As will all regulations, the campus community will be expected to report any reckless, irresponsible and  malicious activity
  • A UAV Committee to be formed from Students and Staff for the purpose of maintaining this policy.

All Operators of any UAV’s must abide by these regulations:

  1. Aircraft must not weight more than ten pounds
  2. Do not operate UAV’s weighing more than one pound in areas of campus that are prohibited.  Permission to fly a UAV weighing more than one pound in prohibited areas must be obtained through the Director of Campus Safety & Security.  (See map below- Area in red)
  3. Do not fly beyond line of sight. (FAA)
  4. Do not exceed 400 feet of altitude. (FAA)
  5. Do not use a metal blade propeller. (AMA)
  6. Do not fly directly over unprotected people, property and structures. (AMA)
  7. Do not operate in a reckless or careless manner or under the influence of alcohol/ drugs.
  8. Flying beyond your established flight line or designated perimeter is strictly prohibited.
  9. UAV’s greater than one pound and “Drone’s” must be registered with Campus Safety & Security.  Failure to register will result in Fines, Disciplinary action and/ or loss of privilege to possess UAV on campus
  10. RAV’s that are “micro”, less than 1 pound and/or made for indoor use are not permitted in Academic buildings unless used under the auspices of an academic program, club, team or individual with specific authorization from that facility manager.    If outfitted with a camera, the vehicle is then considered a “Drone” which must be registered.


Sanctions: Violations of the rules and regulations will be investigated on an individual basis.  Sanctions may include:

  1. Up to a $500.00 fine
  2. Registration revoked and/ or loss of privilege to fly or possess a UAV on Clarkson campus.
  3. Disciplinary action

Student Registration: All UAV’s other than “Micro” must be registered through Campus Safety & Security.  Registration must be done through the student’s PeopleSoft account under “Self Service”.  Once registered, the student must come to the CS&S office to register each and every UAV.  The student will be issued a permit for each UAV registered.  The permit is a decal that must be affixed to the appropriate UAV.  There is no cost to register.

Roles and Responsibilities:

Clarkson Campus Safety & Security

  • Maintain UAV Policy
  • Chair UAV Committee
  • Initiate UAV campus announcement prior to each semester
  • Manage UAV registration through CS&S office
  • Enforce UAV rules and regulations through incident reporting as done currently with any campus incident.

UAV Committee

  • Review/ amend UAV Policy as needed
  • Address issues that arise regarding UAV incidents along with rules & regulation issues/ changes by FAA or other recognized agency.