Unmanned Aircraft System Policies and Procedures
The use of unmanned aircraft systems by University of Idaho personnel is governed by the policy set forth in the UI APM 45.35. This policy and the related policies and procedures described herein is intended to ensure that the university operates any unmanned aircraft systems in the furtherance of its educational, research and service missions, in compliance with applicable federal and state laws. This policy shall be effective immediately.
The use of UAS in research and product testing is a privilege granted under federal, state, local and institutional regulations and policies. The UI UASC requires adherence to the following procedures in order to grant approval of UAS research.
Notice: if a third party is contracted to fly a UAS on the University’s behalf, approval will not be authorized until Purchasing has received a fully executed agreement.
Consult with the UAS Committee or ORA to determine whether the university or a commercial UAS operator has the required authorization from the FAA for civil operations and that the authorization is applicable to your project.
Submit an UI UAS application to the UAS Committee. If you plan to work with a commercial operator, please also submit with your application a copy of the commercial operator’s authorization by the FAA for civil operations.
Obtain approval from the UAS Committee and VPRED for use of UAS under FAA authorization held by university, collaborating entity, or commercial operator.
If you intend to use a commercial operator, consult with the UAS Committee regarding a formal agreement between the university and the collaborating entity or commercial operator providing support for the university project.
Note: The university will require this agreement whether or not the university is providing funds for the services of the collaborator or commercial operator.
Operate UAS for your project consistent with the requirements of the UAS Committee and the FAA authorization for civil operations applicable to your project.
Section 336 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 establishes the requirements for operation of “model aircraft.” A “model aircraft” is defined, under Section 336(c), as “an unmanned aircraft” that is “(1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere; (2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft; and (3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes.” The FAA has indicated in their May 4th, 2016 memorandum on the Education Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) that a “student may conduct model aircraft operations in accordance with section 336 of the FMRA in furtherance of his or her aviation-related education at an accredited educational institution.”
The Office of Research Assurances does not have the authority to approve personal UAS use on campus. To conduct such operations you much seek approval from the Executive Director of the Office of Public Safety and Security.
- Evaluate whether your project falls within the definition of “governmental function.” Consult with the UAS Committee or ORA, as needed, prior to submission of an application to the UAS Committee.
- Determine whether your proposed project may be covered by an existing COA granted to the university. (The university will make its public COAs available through the UAS Committee website.)
- Submit an UI UAS application to the UAS Committee.
- Obtain approval from the UAS Committee and VPRED for submission of a public COA application or operation under an existing public COA.
- Operate UAS for your project consistent with the requirements of the UAS Committee and the public COA applicable to your project.
Please note that the university and UAS Committee cannot provide any assurance that a COA application will be approved by the FAA in time to meet deadlines associated with a particular project.