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Drone Operations (Policy 12120)

University Policy 12120

Download a Printable Version of Policy 12120

Effective Date

September 2015

Last Revision Date

October 20, 2021

Responsible Party

Department of Public Safety, (208) 426-6911
Office of Research Compliance, (208) 426-5401
Risk Management and Insurance, (208) 426-3636

Scope and Audience

This policy applies to any Drone flight on University-owned or -controlled property and any Drone flight on behalf of the University, including flights conducted indoors.

Additional Authority

  • U.S. Code Title 49, Subtitle VII (Aviation Programs)
  • Code of Federal Regulations Title 14 (Aeronautics and Space)
  • Idaho Code § 21-213 (Restrictions on Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems – Definition – Violation – Cause of Action and Damages)
  • Ada County Ordinance 5-4-10 (Unmanned Aircraft)
  • University Policy 10030 (Commercial Filming and Photography)
  • University Policy 10030 (Commercial Filming and Photography)
  • University Policy 12020 (Exclusion from Campus)

1. Policy Purpose

To provide the authority and guidance for regulating Drone flights on University-owned or -controlled property, including Drone flights conducted on behalf of the University, and to outline the process for application, review, and approval for such flights.

2. Policy Statement

Boise State University recognizes the importance of Drones in supporting its mission of teaching, research, creative work, and service to the community. This policy ensures the University’s compliance with applicable laws and regulations while considering privacy, security, and safety when authorizing or providing direction for the use of Drones.

3. Definitions

3.1 Drone(s)

Unmanned Aircraft, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Small Unmanned Aircraft, and Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems under the FAA regulations.

4. Drone Operator Responsibilities

All Drone operators, including but not limited to University employees, students, contractors, subcontractors, agents, volunteers, and visitors are responsible for complying with FAA regulations and any applicable federal, state, and local laws and University policies when operating a Drone on behalf of the University and/or on University-owned or -controlled property.  To ensure such compliance, Operators must:

  • Complete and submit the application form in Section 6;
  • Abstain from flight unless and/or until approval of the submitted application is granted;
  • If/when approved for flight, ensure the flight and use adhere to the approval granted by the University Drone Committee, including any requirements for registration, insurance, notification, and any restrictions regarding flight path, payload, filming, etc.

5. University Drone Committee

Applications for Drone flights are reviewed by a committee consisting of delegates from University departments or units including, but not limited to the Department of Public Safety, Risk Management and Insurance, Office of Research Compliance, Athletics, and the Office of General Counsel.

The committee is responsible for:

  • Reviewing Drone flight applications
  • Ensuring compliance and safety
  • Notifying operators whether approved or not for a drone flight and any requirements such as registration, insurance, and restrictions
  • Notifying the Boise State University Department of Public Safety Communications Center and any other relevant University departments and units, local authorities, and individuals, as appropriate, of approved flights
  • Publishing forms, providing guidance and education, answering questions
  • Maintaining records

6. Drone Flight Application Form

An application form must be submitted for review and approval before any Drone flight on University-owned or -controlled property, or any Drone flight on behalf of the University, may be conducted. The application form can be found on the Office of Research Compliance website. Review of the application may take several University business days.

7. Liability Insurance

a. Liability coverage is required for Drone flights on University-owned or -controlled property or for Drone flights conducted on behalf of the University. University-owned Drones must be covered under the University/State of Idaho aviation policy.

b. Drone operators must provide proof of liability coverage for any Drone not owned by the University.

c. Additional liability coverage may be required for visitors conducting flights on University-owned or -controlled property or for contractors performing a service for the University.

8. Enforcement

a. Any member of the University community who observes a violation of this policy should promptly notify the Department of Public Safety at (208) 426-6911.

b. The Department of Public Safety has primary responsibility for enforcement efforts and will take appropriate actions, including involving law enforcement, as necessary, to maintain safety and security.

c. Violations of this policy may result in:

  • Exclusion from campus under University Policy 12020 (Exclusion from Campus).
  • Confiscation of a Drone, payload, or storage device with photos or footage if evidence of unlawful activity or required deletion of unlawful footage.
  • Referral to the Office of the Dean of Students for student violations, which may result in action under University Policy 2020 (Student Code of Conduct).
  • Referral to Human Resources for employee violations, which may result in discipline, up to and including dismissal.

In addition, violations of applicable laws or rules may result in criminal and/or civil liability.

9. Forms

Drone Flight Application Form

10. Frequently Asked Questions

FAA’s Frequently Asked Questions

11. Related Information

Office of Research Compliance

Department of Public Safety

Office of Institutional Compliance and Ethics

Office of Risk Management and Insurance

Student Code of Conduct

Revision History

January 2016; May 2017; October 20, 2021

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