7.10 Operation of Unmanned Flying Vehicles
Establishes University approval procedures and review committee to facilitate flights of unmanned flying vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. Sets forth flight approval criteria to ensure consistency with the University’s mission to promote the public welfare, advance knowledge, and educate students. Prohibits third party flights from within or above University lands.
1. Introduction and Applicability
- Third Parties operating or intending to operate UFVs on or above University lands, including hobbyist, recreational, or aerial photography flights. Such flights are prohibited by this policy.
- Faculty, students, staff, or Approved Vendors flying UFVs on or above University lands, or on behalf of the University at any location. Thus, for example, the policy applies to faculty, students, or staff seeking to pursue the following activities:
- Research and development or data collection by flying UFVs in the pursuit of their University duties, whether on or off University property;
- UFV flight as a part of their University courses, or research activities, whether on or off University property;
- Agreements or other arrangements for Approved Vendors and other persons to fly UFVs on behalf of the University (such as for aerial photography, or for any of the reasons above), whether on or off University property; and
- Model aircraft or other UFV flight from within or above University property for recreational or hobby purposes (which will require membership in a University sanctioned hobbyist club).
- Anyone flying UFVs if such flight is (1) unrelated to University coursework, research, or employment and (2) such flight is not from within or above University lands.
In pursuing its mission to promote the public welfare, advance knowledge, and train its increasingly global student base, the University may seek to utilize UFVs. The University recognizes that UFVs may enable faster, better, cheaper, and safer scientific data gathering, and because of their versatility, may serve as useful learning tools for students. At the same time, these vehicles present unique issues to environmental health, safety, regulatory compliance, and privacy, and these issues must be balanced with the University’s other missions.
3. Policy Statement
A. Third Parties
B. Stanford Faculty, Staff and Students and Approved Vendors
C. Stanford Research Activities
4. UFV Committee
5. UFV Commitee Review and Approval Process
UFV flights may require Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approvals and/or permissions from local authorities, other regulatory agencies, or private parties. Certain FAA approvals take several months to seek and obtain. Further, in some cases, the UFV Committee may need to refer issues to impacted Stanford offices and departments.
In light of these constraints, the UFV Committee must be notified, using the linked form, at the earliest possible time of a proposed UFV flight governed by this policy. For flights involving hobbyist or recreational activities, refer to the streamlined procedures provided in the linked form. In all other cases, in no event may the notification be submitted fewer than 10 business days before the envisioned
- relevant commitment of funds or resources for the flight, or
- binding commitment or proposal relevant to the flight, whichever is earliest.
For flights posing new or significant risks or novel questions, additional review time or multiple meetings may be required, and requesters are advised to submit the request well in advance to avoid delays or disapproval.
The UFV Committee will determine and communicate whether the proposed UFV flight is permissible, and if so, under what conditions. If the proposed UFV flight is permissible, the UFV Committee will issue an electronic certificate of approval, which will be provided to the requester. If the proposed UFV flight is not permissible, the UFV Committee may provide guidance on whether and how the requester could address deficiencies in the request. No UFV flights may proceed without the certificate of approval.
6. General Criteria Considered by UFV Committee
7. Submission and Contact Information
To request approval for a UFV flight please submit an application to the UFV committee and allow a minimum of 10 business days for routine requests, with additional time for more complex requests.
Applications for a UFV flight can be found in the Related Items section in the Documents Tab below. Applications should be sent to email@example.com.
Supplementary information on Stanford UFV policy and procedures can be found in the Documents Tab below under Frequently Asked Questions.