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Fort Lewis College Official Seal

Policy identification number: To come

File: Safety & Health Policies

Safety Policy Governing Commercial and Recreational/Hobby Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) on Campus

Policy Summary

This policy establishes the minimum safety requirements for the commercial, recreational or hobby use of UAVs (including video recording restrictions) on and above Fort Lewis College property.

Policy Owner

Vice President for Finance and Administration

Approval Date

June 15, 2017

Effective Date

June 15, 2017

Search Terms

vpfa, s, uav, drone, u

Scheduled for Review

Spring 2022

I. Policy Statement

Fort Lewis College (FLC) has developed this Safety Policy when using commercial, recreational or hobby model and/or videotaping with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to protect employees, students and the general public from hazards associated with the operation of such vehicles.  Individuals are responsible for adhering to all FAA rules and regulations at all times.

  1. General Information
        1. This safety policy applies to all UAVs used by faculty, staff and students or the general public when operating UAVs on or above College-owned property.
        2. Fort Lewis College controls flights over FLC property and all users of UAVs must obtain approval for all flights on or above campus. Marketing and Communications (MarComm) and Teaching and Learning Services (TLS) have approval to fly on campus as needed without having to submit applications for each flight. However, an email or phone call to the FLC Police and Risk Manager with the days, times and locations of proposed flights will be made by the two departments listed above prior to the flights.
        3. UAV operators must comply with all aspects of this policy and all local, state, federal laws and regulations regarding safe use and operation of their UAV.
        4. Specific areas where using UAVs for recording purposes is strictly prohibited include the following:
            1. Within any Academic Building

            2. Within any Residence Hall
            3. Within or over campus childcare facilities
            4. Within or over all Athletic Facilities
            5. Smith Soccer Complex
        5. The prohibition listed above related to Athletic Facilities and Smith Soccer Complex may be overridden for College purposes only. MarComm and TLS are exempt from the prohibition provided they coordinate in advance with FLC Police, the Risk Manager and any departments or agencies that may be affected by drone flights.

  2. Minimal Safety Standards
        1. UAVs must remain within visual line of site of the operator. MarComm and TLS operators must wear a reflective vest and markings that identify the department they are with and this information will be provided to the FLC Police and the Office of Risk Management.
        2. UAVs may not fly over or within 25 feet of any vehicles or unprotected persons. After April 21, 2021 MarComm and TLS may fly over unprotected persons and any vehicles subject to the following requirements:
          1. The UAV must weigh less than 55 pounds including everything that is onboard or otherwise attached to the aircraft at the time of takeoff and throughout the duration of the flight.
          2. Contain no exposed rotating parts that would cause lacerations.
          3. No remote pilot in command may operate a small UAV in sustained flight over open-air assemblies unless the operation is compliant with the FAAs Remote ID requirement. This requirement is met through a capability built into the drone or through a module attached to the drone.
        3. UAVs may not be flown within 50 feet of College buildings or overhead utility lines.
        4. UAVs may only be flown during daylight hours. MarComm and TLS are exempt from this requirement and may operate at night provided the remote pilot in command has completed and updated the initial knowledge test, or online recurrent training, and the small UAS must have lighted anti-collision lighting visible for at least three (3) statute miles that has a flash rate sufficient to avoid a collision.
        5. UAVs may not be flown more than 400 feet above ground level (AGL).
        6. UAVs must always yield right of way to other aircraft, manned or unmanned, and, must be operated in a manner that does not interfere with other aircraft.
        7. UAVs shall not exceed a maximum speed of 100 mph.
        8. A minimum weather visibility of 3 miles from the control location is required at all times.
        9. No operations are allowed from a moving vehicle. MarComm and TLS are exempt from this requirement provided a waiver has been acquired from the FAA and a copy sent to the FLC Police and the Office of Risk Management.
        10. No careless or reckless operations are permitted at any time by UAV operators.
        11. A preflight inspection is required by the operator in accordance with any guidance applicable to the aircraft as specified by the FAA.  This includes a function test of controls and the aircraft.
        12. UAVs experiencing a malfunction shall be immediately grounded until the malfunction is corrected.
        13. No metal blade propellers may be used.
        14. UAVs may not carry hazardous materials or pyrotechnic devices that explode or burn or materials that may separate from the aircraft during flight.
        15. UAVs may not be flown during Red Flag warning periods issued by the Durango Fire and Rescue Authority, National Weather Service or Department of Homeland Security – Division of Emergency Management.
        16. UAVs may not be flown around or above emergency response personnel or equipment.
        17. UAVs shall not be flown when weather conditions such as wind affect the ability of the operator to maintain appropriate distance from people or property.
        18. A person may not operate a UAV if he or she knows or has reason to know of any physical or mental condition that would interfere with the safe operation of the UAV.
        19. Any other FAA-required or regulated provision will be followed in accordance with FAA standards and/or guidelines.

  3. Insurance Requirements
        1. Only UAVs registered by a department (as per the Safety Policy for Academic and Research Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVS)) and which are being used for Fort Lewis College-related activities (e.g., recording an event) are covered by the College’s insurance. MarComm and TLS are covered under a separate policy due to the nature of their operations.
        2. Operators must complete an indemnification form provided by the College.
        3. Only the operator who signed the indemnification form may fly the UAV.
        4. Family members, guests of the operator or co-workers must also sign the indemnity form if they are present with operator (pilot).
        5. The indemnification agreement with the College will describe areas approved for flight.
        6. Individuals or companies using UAVs on or above campus for commercial purposes must show adequate insurance coverage before obtaining approval for flights on or above campus as follows:
            1. A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is required indicating the required coverage, which can be in the form of a general liability insurance company policy, an online service provider or separate aviation insurance policy:
              1. $500,000 for owned aircraft liability;
              2. $500,000 for non-owned aircraft liability.
            2. Certificate of insurance can be obtained from your insurance provider or online.
            3. Fort Lewis College must be named as an additional insured on your policy, and the certificate of insurance must contain a waiver of subrogation for Workers’ Compensation in favor of Fort Lewis College.

  4. Restrictions
        1. UAVs shall not be used to monitor or record areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in accordance with accepted social norms.  These areas include, but are not limited to:  restrooms, locker rooms, individual residential rooms, changing rooms, dressing rooms, or health treatment rooms.
        2. UAVs shall not be used to monitor or record residential hallways, lounges, or inside of campus childcare facilities. MarComm and TLS must coordinate with the FLC Police, Office of Risk Management and any affected departments prior to flying inside any building whether occupied or not.
        3. UAVs shall not be used to monitor or record sensitive institutional or personal information which may be found, for example on an individual’s workspaces, on computers or other electronic displays.
        4. If images of individuals will be captured in a resolution that allows people to be identified (i.e., a data subject), where practicable UAV operators should make a reasonable effort to provide prior notice to individuals of the general timeframe and area so that such individuals may anticipate a UAV intentionally collecting covered data.
        5. UAV operators will take measures to manage security risks of covered data by implementing a process that contains reasonable administrative, technical and physical safeguards appropriate to the size, complexity, nature and scope of its activities, and sensitivity of the covered data. The process should include steps to:
            1. Take care in the collection and storage of information that identifies a particular data subject;
            2. Limit the use and sharing of such data;
            3. Secure the data;
            4. Monitor and comply with the law as it evolves.
        6. Restrictions may be placed on users depending on specific circumstances or changes in FAA rules, regulations and laws.

  5. Enforcement
        1. Fort Lewis College reserves the right to confiscate or restrict individual or company use of UAVs on campus.
        2. The Student Conduct policy and Employee Conduct policies will be referenced as appropriate for violations of the above requirements, if applicable.

  6. Suspension of UAV Flights on Campus
        1. Fort Lewis College may suspend all flights of UAVs on campus as recommended by the FLC Police or Office of Risk Management.
        2. Individuals or companies may be prohibited from flying UAVs on campus based on recommendations of the FLC Police, Student Affairs or Academic Affairs. 

  7. Fort Lewis College reserves the right to change these requirements based on its determination of risk and/or changes in FAA protocols.

II. Reason for Policy 

This policy creates structure for the commercial, recreational or hobby use of and recording with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) while mitigating risk to faculty, staff, students, the general public and the College.

III. Responsibilities 

For following the policy: Employees, students, general public, and the Office of Risk Management

For enforcement of the policy: Office of Risk Management; Fort Lewis College Police Department

For oversight of the policy: Vice President of Finance and Administration

For notification of policy: Policy Librarian

For procedures implementing the policy: Office of Risk Management

IV. Definitions 

Covered Data:  Means information collected by a UAV that identifies a particular person.  If data collected by an UAV likely will not be linked to an individual’s name or other personally identifiable information, or if the data is altered so that a specific person is not recognizable, it is not covered data.

Data Subjects:  Refers to the individuals about whom covered data is collected.

Drone: Usually referred to an unmanned military aircraft; also referred to as small recreational unmanned remote controlled aircraft

FAA: Federal Aviation Administration, the governmental agency responsible for regulating and monitoring civil aviation within the United States of America.

FAA Certification:  Addressed in Section 333 of the FAA Standards.

Hobby Designation:  Defined by the FAA as a UAV weighing less than 0.55 pounds.

Small Unmanned Aircraft:  Defined by the FAA as weighing 0.55 to 55 pounds in weight and include UAVs, UASs and drones.

UAS: Unmanned aerial system as found in 14 CFR Part 107.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs): For purpose of this policy all drones, small unmanned aircraft, unmanned aerial systems and other unmanned aerial vehicles will be designated as “unmanned aerial vehicles” (UAVs) 

V. Forms

Application for Commercial and Recreational/Hobby Use of UAVs on Campus

Release From Responsibility, Assumption of Risk and Waiver