Uncrewed Aircraft System (Drone) Policy
Issued by: Director of Campus Safety and Compliance
Approved by Cabinet: August 28, 2018
Keene State College recognizes that a UAS (Uncrewed1 Aircraft System) may offer significant contributions to the teaching and research endeavors of Keene State College (KSC) faculty, researchers and students, and may also offer opportunities for College administrative offices in carrying out their functions. The use of UAS, however, is regulated by law and can pose significant safety, security and privacy risks to the College community. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and relevant state laws regulate the operation of uncrewed aircraft systems, which includes drones and model aircraft. This policy is to ensure compliance with all federal and state regulations to protect the safety and welfare of Keene State College students, employees and visitors. This policy establishes an approval process and procedures to ensure safe and responsible operation of UAS in, on or above Keene State College property.
The procedures adopted pursuant to this policy apply:
- To any KSC employee or student operating a UAS in any location as part of a KSC activity.
- To any person operating a UAS above KSC property not as part of a school activity.
- To the purchase of a UAS, or the contracting for any UAS services, with funding through a KSC unit.
Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS) is defined by the FAA as “as the unmanned aircraft (UA) and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft UA. The UA is the flying portion of the system, flown by a pilot via a ground control system or autonomously through the use of an on board computer, communication links and any additional equipment that is necessary for the UA to operate safely”. As used in this policy, the term UAS includes Model Aircraft.
Model Aircraft is defined by the FAA as “an unmanned aircraft that is:
- capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere *
- flown from within the visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft; and
- flown for hobby or recreational purposes”.
333 Exemption is an exemption from FAA general requirements available for commercial operation.
* Although “unmanned” is the typical term applied to drone aircraft, the “uncrewed” term long used in NASA and other activities is employed here for gender neutrality
Commercial operation is operation in furtherance of a business or incidental to a person’s business.
Public operation is operation such as for national defense, intelligence missions, firefighting, search and rescue, law enforcement, research, biological or environmental resource management.
Recreational operation is operation for relaxation, hobby or diversion, including as a component of a science, technology or aviation curricula or other coursework such as television or film production or the arts.
Section 107 operation is commercial operation that meets the requirements of Sec. 107 of the FAA regulations, which require: Pilots with remote pilot certificates; weight less than 55 lbs; speed less than 100mph and altitude less than 400ft; daytime flight within the line of sight, no flights in covered structures or over people in the open.
Any person seeking to operate a UAS shall:
- Be responsible for ensuring the UAS is in safe operating condition before flying.
- Ensure that the UAS is under the control of the operator at all times.
- UAS may not be operated over public open-air events (crowds, sporting events) nor above or around construction sites.
- UAS shall not be used to monitor, photograph, or record areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.
- UAS may not be operated indoors in any campus building unless a specific exception is received from the Department of Campus Safety.
Specific authorization to operate a UAS on or above any Keene State College owned property must be granted by the Department of Campus Safety before such operation is permitted. An applicant must provide evidence of compliance with FAA regulations and New Hampshire laws. Upon approval for any on campus operation, the Director of Campus Safety or his/her designee will notify the campus via MyKSC or similar communication platforms of the date, time, and location of the drone operation.
Any Keene State College employee or student wishing to operate a UAS as part of their employment or as part of their program of study, must either meet the FAA definition of a recreational operation, or comply with FAA regulation Part 107 or possess a Section 333 exemption. Any such employee or student must first obtain permission from the Department of Campus Safety, which must be provided with evidence of compliance with FAA requirements.
Any KSC employee or student seeking to purchase a UAS, or contract for UAS services, with KSC funds must first contact the Department of Campus Safety for an assessment of KSC’s ability to comply with FAA requirements.
For further information regarding UAS visit the Federal Aviation Administration webpage at https://www.faa.gov/uas/
Any violation of this policy or these procedures will be subject to legal or disciplinary action in accordance with KSC policies and procedures. Any third parties that operate UAS in violation of this policy may be treated as trespassers and may be removed from the campus. Violations of local, state, or federal laws may be referred to appropriate law enforcement.
A decision by the Department of Campus Safety may be appealed to the Vice President of Student Affairs. All appeals must be in writing and must be received within ten (10) business days of receipt of a denial to operate a UAS.