Drone Policy - Operation of Unmanned Aerial Systems Within University Airspace

Approved by the president

Policy Contact
University Police
Chief of Policy
(607­) 436­-3550

Policy Statement

SUNY Oneonta reserves the right to manage the use of university airspace and to establish the qualifications for operating an unmanned aerial system (UAS)—often called a “drone”—within it.


The operation of a UAS within the university airspace may raise issues related to safety, security or privacy.

Applicability of Policy

This policy applies to all persons.

Policy Elaboration

Persons may operate a UAS within university airspace only after obtaining prior written consent to do so from the chief of the University Police Department and furnishing to the university proof of possession of a current Remote Pilot Certificate as defined under Part 107 of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations issued by the Federal Aviation Administration.


University airspace: the atmosphere and everything within it that is above university real property extending upward from the ground to 400 feet above ground level. Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS): Any mechanized flying machine that does not carry a person and is operated remotely, in-flight by a person.


Any person seeking to fly a UAS within university airspace must obtain consent to do so by stating in a memo to the chief of the University Police Department:

  • Identification of the UAS;
  • Name of and contact information for the UAS operator;
  • A copy of the Remote Pilot Certificate of the UAS operator;
  • Proposed location of the operator during the flight;
  • Purpose of the flight, e.g., engineering analysis, mapping, public relations, academic research, pilot training, hardware/software testing, preventive maintenance, and non-image-based data acquisition;
  • Scheduled time of the flight
  • Duration of the flight; and
  • Geographic range of the flight.

The chief of the University Police Department will determine whether to grant consent and respond in writing within 30 business days of receipt of such memo.



Related Documents/Policies

Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

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