Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) including drones and model aircraft is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and relevant state law. Cal Poly must comply with FAA requirements, state law, and any other locally applicable laws or regulations regarding unmanned aircraft systems. Inherent risks in the operation of such equipment require additional insurance provisions and policy considerations.

UAS Use/Operation Requirements

No UAS use and/or operation may be conducted by faculty, staff, students or third parties (including, but not limited to, consultants, volunteers, contractors, vendors, or suppliers) on or around University property, whether acting on behalf of the University or not, without:

  1. Prior review and approval by the University's UAS Committee;
  2. Approval by the FAA (such as a COA and/or other authorization or exemption applicable to UAS operation); and
  3. Review and approval by the University's Flight Readiness Committee.

UAS use and/or operation by faculty, staff, students, or third parties on University property, including but not limited to recreational or hobby flight of model aircraft, is prohibited, except as approved by the UAS Committee. Use and/or operation means no take-offs, landings, or operations of any kind from University property or on behalf of the University on non-University property.

Any University employee, student, or department purchasing a UAS (or the parts to assemble a UAS), or UAS services with university funds or funds being disbursed through the Cal Poly Corporation, Cal Poly Foundation, ASI or Grants Development, must contact Cal Poly's Risk Management office in order to assess the University's ability to obtain a Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the FAA, other necessary FAA exemptions, or meet local compliance requirements. Approval for purchase will be granted by the UAS Advisory Committee.

If approval is granted by the UAS Advisory Committee, the purchase must be submitted via a purchase requisition. ProCard or personal purchases (reimbursements) are not permitted.