Policy for the Use of Drones, UAVs and UASs
To define the requirements for the use of Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and/or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), in compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and all applicable federal, state and local laws.
Drones, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), are defined as any contrivance invented, used or designed to navigate or fly in the air that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft. The scope of this policy applies to, but may not be limited to, the operation on of Drones, UAVs, or UASs on Trinity University property, University controlled property, or for University-affiliated events held elsewhere. All Drones, UAVs and UASs must be registered through the Academic Technology (AT) and approved by the Trinity University Chief of Police.
To ensure the safety and privacy rights of individuals and ensure the legal operation of Drones, UAVs and UASs on the Trinity University campus, on University controlled property, or at University-affiliated events held elsewhere, the use of all Drones, UAVs and UASs must be approved by the Trinity University Chief of Police.
The FAA is responsible for regulating and overseeing the use of all aircraft, to include Drones, UAVs, and UASs, hereinafter collectively referred to as Drones, and recognizes that Drones may be used for recreational/hobby purposes or for commercial use.
The FAA allows recreational use of Drones within statutory parameters. All Trinity University community members are personally responsible for compliance with FAA regulations, state and federal laws, and university policies. Effective Dec. 21, 2015, the FAA announced new regulations requiring all owners of Drones to register their Drone on the FAA website. This online registration requirement applies to all individual hobbyist owners of small Drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds (for drones over 55 pounds register here), including payloads such as on-board cameras. The cost of registration is $5.
The FAA considers non-recreational use of Drones commercial use and requires prior authorization through a Section 333 exemption. Institutional use of Drones can be considered commercial use and therefore may require an exemption.
In May, 2016, the FAA provided an Educational Use Clarification for institutional use of Drones. The clarification states that:
Faculty member Drone operations outside of the exception above are considered commercial use and require completion of the Section 333 exemption.
The new Small UAS Rule effective August 29, 2016 requires:
A Special Airworthiness Certificate for any civil (commercial) use of a Drone.
Appropriate Pilot Certification for any commercial or governmental operation of a Drone.
Commercial Drone operators must be at least 16 years old.
Failure to register an aircraft may result in regulatory and criminal sanctions. The FAA may assess civil penalties up to $27,500. Criminal penalties include fines of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment for up to three years.
In addition to the Registration, Exemption, and Certification requirements above, the following must be met for approved operation of a Drone.
Please contact the Office of Risk Management and Insurance for further information at riskmanagement [at] trinity.edu or 999-8919.