5.2-8 Unmanned Aircraft (Drone) Policy
This policy defines the requirements for the use of unmanned aircraft, or drones, on Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU)-owned property, or elsewhere where University-affiliated activities occur.
This policy applies to commercial and noncommercial users/pilots of unmanned aircraft. This includes, but is not limited to, faculty, staff, students, and visitors.
This policy is being implemented to protect the health and safety of the students, employees and campus visitors on the SVSU campus.
Please note, failure to operate unmanned aircraft in compliance with this policy may result in referral to campus, local, state or federal law enforcement for action consistent with federal and state law.
- An unmanned aircraft (UA) is any unpiloted aerial vehicle operated from a distance of more than one foot via tether or remote control, including but not limited to planes, helicopters, blimps, balloons or kites.
- Higher education institutions and other public entities may operate drones upon receipt of a certificate of waiver or authorization (COA) issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
- Commercial use of UAs (including non-university entities interested in operating UAs on campus property) is currently barred unless the FAA issues an exemption.
- UA shall not create a hazard to University-owned property, the University community, or the public at any time. UA may not be operated in a way that disrupts instruction or unduly affects the environment of people in, or passing through, a common space, those working or studying within a building, or those entering, exiting or otherwise making their way about a facility.
- UA may not be operated inside university buildings unless written permission is received from the Office of Administration and Business Affairs (ABA).
- UA may not be operated above public open-air events, in or about public venues or above thoroughfares, including but not limited to stadiums, arenas, roadways, sidewalks, bike paths and pedestrian paths.
- UA may not be operated above public open-air spaces when more than 10 people are present.
- UA must be operated in a manner that adheres to federal and state law and federal guidelines regarding the operation of said aircraft.
- If UA are being used to obtain photos, video or sound for commercial purposes, University commercial use policies must be followed. See Operations Manual 5.2-6. Please note the need for an FAA exemption/authorization as noted above in item 2.
- If the UA is used in support of research, teaching or testing, faculty, staff or research associates must supervise student use of said unmanned aircraft. Please note the need for an FAA exemption/authorization as noted above in item 2.
- If the UA is used by a student, student organization, student group or club, or individual for personal use, permission must be granted by the Office of Administration and Business Affairs at least 24 hours in advance of intended use. Permission will not be granted in the absence of any required FAA exemption/authorization as noted above in item 2. Additionally, the student, student organization, student group or club, or individual must adhere to all campus policies. Proper proof of insurance must be approved and filed with the SVSU Director of Business Services prior to use. Such evidence of insurance must include general liability coverage with a $2,000,000 per occurrence limit. The SVSU Board of Control, its officers, employees, and agents must be added as additional insureds on the insurance policy.
- If a University unit arranges for a contractor or a third party to use a UA for purposes associated with a University facility, project, or event, the contractor must adhere to all campus policies and the contracting unit shall contact the SVSU Director of Business Services a minimum of 24 hours in advance of the flight to ensure that the UA owner and operator have adequate liability insurance at least equal to the amount stated in item 11.
- UA used in accordance with this policy must be under the complete control of the operator at all times.
Administration of this policy is coordinated through the Office of Administration and Business Affairs.
Adopted 09/16/2015 EVP-ABA
Revised 08/11/17 EVP-ABA