FI0137-S Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“Drones”)


UT Southern issues this procedure per the requirements of FI0137 – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“Drones”). This procedure will facilitate UT Southern’s compliance with FI0137 — Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“Drones”).


This procedure applies to all UT Southern employees.


  1. UAS Coordinator’s Approval Required
    1. No one may utilize a drone on UT Southern property or over UT Southern airspace without obtaining advance written approval from UT Southern’s UAS Coordinator.
    2. UT Southern employees who want to operate a drone must submit their request to UT Southern’s UAS Coordinator at least 14 calendar days in advance of their intended use.
    3. UT Southern’s UAS Coordinator may develop written forms/documentation to help facilitate their review under this procedure.
  1. Restrictions on Approved Use
    1. The UT Southern UAS Coordinator may issue restrictions on UAS use when providing approval for use.
    2. If the UAS Coordinator approves of the request to operate a UAS, the operator must comply with FI0137 — Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“Drones”), this procedure, and any restrictions imposed by the UAS Coordinator.
    3. UAS operators must:
      1. Give way to manned aircraft at all times.
      2. Ensure that they do not fly above 400 feet at any time.
      3. Ensure that they stop operations immediately if the UAS appears to be malfunctioning and resume operations only when the UAS is functioning properly.
      4. Ensure that the UAS does not fly faster than 100 miles per hour.
      5. Ensure that the operator or a team member maintains constant visual contact with the UAS.
      6. Immediately stop operating a UAS if law enforcement, emergency responders, or similar public safety officials arrive where the operator is located or under an area where the UAS will fly.
      7. Immediately report all accidents to the UAS Coordinator, regardless of whether the accident caused damage to property, people, animals, or the UAS itself.
      8. Not operate a UAS within 300 feet of a crane, utility vehicle, or any vehicle where an operator will utilize the vehicle to raise people or objects into the air.
  2. Airport and Heliport Requirements
    1. Federal law limits UAS operations near airports and heliports. UAS operators must contact air traffic control and airport authorities before flying within 5 miles of an airport or heliport.

Penalties/Disciplinary Action for Non-Compliance

Violating this procedure could result in adverse human resource actions, up to and including termination. Individuals who obtain UAS Coordinator approval to operate a drone assume personal responsibility for complying with all applicable laws and regulations. If a UAS operator violates applicable laws or regulations, the operator will be personally responsible for any resulting consequences.

Responsible Official & Additional Contacts Josie Brown, Director of Campus Security


Related Policies/Guidance Documents

FI0137 (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) FI0405 (Procurement)

FI0420 (Contracts)

FI0600 (Equipment—Sensitive Minor) FI0605 (Equipment)

FI0137-S Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“Drones”)
Version: 1 // Effective: 02/14/2023
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