Initially Approved: December 19, 2016
Policy Topic: Business Administration and Auxiliary Services
Administering Office: University Police Department
The operation of drones (“unmanned aircraft”) is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) and North Carolina State law. It is the policy of Western Carolina University (the “University”) to permit unmanned aircraft/ systems to be used in a manner that is consistent with institutional goals and needs, and complies with regulatory and public safety requirements.
This policy applies to:
This policy does not apply to use of unmanned aircraft/systems by local, state or federal law enforcement in the scope of their duties, provided that the use is consistent with all federal and state laws and regulations pertaining thereto.
Any individual who seeks to operate unmanned aircraft/systems on University property or at any University activity must receive approval in advance in accordance with this policy.
The following definition apply for purposes of this policy:
“university activity” means any University sponsored or sanctioned use or activity for the purpose of education, instruction, marketing/public relations, research, or extension activities.
“unmanned aircraft” means an aircraft, as defined in NCGS §63-1, that is operated without the possibility of human intervention from within or on the aircraft and that does not meet the definition of model aircraft.
“unmanned aircraft system” means an unmanned aircraft and associated elements including communication links and components that control the unmanned aircraft and are required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.
“university property” means buildings or grounds owned, leased, licensed or otherwise used, controlled or managed by the University.
The use of unmanned aircraft/systems for purposes of this policy is categorized by the FAA and the State of North Carolina as follows: (1) government use (i.e., operation of systems by governmental agencies for governmental purposes, including the University); (2) commercial use (i.e., use by contracted vendors); and (3) private/hobbyist use (i.e., use by a private individual on or above University property).
Each category requires the operator to follow different procedures before using/operating unmanned aircraft/systems on campus, as provided below.
A. Government (University) Use
Employees seeking to operate an unmanned aircraft/system on behalf of the University for University purposes, are responsible for obtaining all required documentation and approvals in compliance with FAA regulations, federal and state laws, and applicable University policies.
Employees of any local, state or federal governmental agency seeking to operate an unmanned aircraft/system on or above University property for governmental purposes, are responsible for obtaining all required documentation and approvals in compliance with FAA regulations, federal and state laws, and applicable University policies.
Government use on or above University property, or elsewhere on behalf of the University, must be approved in advance through the University Police Department to ensure compliance and insurance coverage.
B. Commercial Use
Contracted vendors seeking to operate an unmanned aircraft/system on University property, or anywhere on behalf of the University, is responsible for obtaining all required documentation and approvals in compliance with FAA regulations, federal and state laws, and applicable University policies.
Commercial use on or above University property, or elsewhere on behalf of the University, must be approved in advance through the University Police Department to ensure compliance and insurance coverage.
C. Private/Hobbyist Use
Private/hobbyist use of unmanned aircraft systems on or above University property is not permitted.
D. Indoor Flight
Indoor flight of an unmanned aircraft/system is prohibited in any University owned, leased or controlled building or other enclosed space.
E. Applications for University Approval
The University Police Department shall be responsible for administering this policy and providing the University’s approval of government use and commercial use as required by this policy.
Individuals who violate this policy may be subject to progressive discipline in accordance with University employment policies or the student code of conduct, whichever the case may be. Private/hobbyist users who violate this policy may be trespassed by the University Police.
This policy shall be reviewed and revised as necessary every four (4) years.
FAA drone registration: http://federaldroneregistration.com/
Summary of FAA Rule (Part 107): https://www.faa.gov/uas/media/Part_107_Summary.pdfNCDOT – operating unmanned aircraft systems: https://www.ncdot.gov/aviation/uas/