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Unmanned Aircraft Operations Policy


Effective 5/16/2016

This policy has been established to address the operation of unmanned aircraft systems including small unmanned aircraft (SUA), also referred to as UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), UAS (unmanned aerial system) and drones, regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on or over the DePauw University campus including its athletics complex and its Nature Park with the intention to ensure compliance with FAA and state regulations and to reduce risks to safety, security and privacy of the local community.  This policy will be superseded by any changes in federal, state, and local laws, rules, interpretations, and regulations.

 This policy applies to:

 * DePauw University employees and students operating unmanned aircraft systems as part of their University employment or as part of University sponsored/authorized activities;

* The operation by any person of unmanned aircraft systems or model aircraft on or above DePauw University property including for recreational or hobbyist use;

* The hiring for or contracting for any unmanned aircraft services by an entity or individual associated with DePauw University.



  1. The use of SUA over University property is prohibited unless approved in advance by the University. 
  2. Requests for approval to operate SUA over University property must be directed to the attention of the Office of University Communications located at 101 W. Seminary Street.  The Office of University Communications will be responsible for coordination of the approval process with Safety and Risk Management Services and the Office of Public Safety on the granting of authorizations.  The Office of University Communications provides an online registration form on its website at .
  3. In order to secure authorization, a user must register the SUA with the FAA prior to seeking University approval.  The user will be required to provide the Manager of Safety and Risk Management Services with a copy of the approved FAA registration.  The user will also be required to show proof of being at least 18 years of age.
  4. In addition, in order to receive authorization to operate the SUA, the requesting user must provide a certificate of general liability insurance covering the SUA and listing DePauw University as an additional insured to the Manager of Safety and Risk Management Services.  Commercial operators must carry coverage at a minimum of $2 million.  Hobbyist operators must carry coverage at a minimum of $1 million.  No exception will be made.  Prospective operators with questions regarding the insurance coverage requirement may direct their questions to the Manager of Safety and Risk Management Services at 765-658-4180.
  5. Prior to a flight, a registered and approved operator must submit a flight plan to the Office of University Communications describing the intended purpose of the flight and the planned flight path.  To be clear, a separate flight plan must be filed for each planned flight of the SUA.
  6. Authorized operators must, at all times, abide by the regulations of the FAA and in accordance with relevant state law as well as the regulations of the University policy.  This requirements include:
    1. If operating a SUA for purposes of recording and/or transmitting visual images, operators must take all reasonable precautions to avoid violations of areas normally considered private.  Such areas include restrooms, locker rooms, individual residential rooms, changing or dressing rooms, and health treatment rooms.
    2. SUAs will not be used to monitor or record residential hallways, residential lounges or similar shared living areas.
    3. SUAs will not be used to monitor, record and/or transmit sensitive institutional or personal information which may be found, for example, on an individual’s workspaces, or on computer or other electronic displays.
    4. If images of individuals will be captured in a resolution which will permit persons to be identified, a written notice of the intent to film must be distributed to anyone at the site who might be captured on video and written release to record secured.
    5. SUAs may not be flown within University buildings unless noted as part of a flight plan submitted and pre-approved by the Office of University Communications.
    6. All operators, even if registered with the FAA, must be at least 18 years of age and shall meet all operator and aircraft requirements and obligations applicable to the aircraft and its specific use as required by the FAA and any applicable state laws.
    7. For purposes of this policy and in accordance with FAA regulations, SUAs may not weigh less than 0.55 pounds nor more than 55 pounds including the weight of any camera or digital recording equipment.
    8. SAUs must remain within visual line of sight of the operator and operator may only operate a single SUA at the same time.
    9. SUAs may only be flown over University property in daylight hours.
    10. SUAs may not operate at an altitude greater than 400 feet.
    11. SUAs may not operate at an airspeed exceeding 100 mph.
    12. SUAs operated on University property may not be flown over any private property, whether owned by the University or not, without prior written consent of the property owner.
    13. Operators of SUAs may not be inside moving vehicles.
    14. SUAs may not carry hazardous chemicals, pyrotechnic devices which explode or burn, or materials intended to separate from the aircraft during flight.
    15. SUAs may not fly over or within 25 feet of a vehicle or unprotected person.
    16. SUAs flown as part of a University sponsored or authorized activity and/or by a commercial operator not affiliated with the University may not fly within 100 feet of University buildings or utility lines.  SUAs flown by hobbyist are restricted to no more than 500 feet of University buildings or utility lines.
    17. Because the University lies within five (5) miles of the Putnam County Regional Airport, the operator of an SUA is required to contact and clear flight of the aircraft with the Airport authorities prior to operation.  The University will bear no responsibility for securing clearance by the airport authorities by operators not employed by or contracted by the University.



      The University reserves the right to confiscate or restrict individual use of SUAs operated on and/or over the University property, to administer corrective actions against students and employees in accordance with University policies and procedures, and to notify the proper authorities in the event of non-compliance with FAA regulations, state laws and/or University policies.   The University will bear no responsibility for violation of FAA regulations or state law by the authorized operator and the operator will be required to sign an agreement holding the University harmless.

       The University will reserve the right to review and confiscate any photographs or video captured by an SUA over University property.