Policies & Procedures


Section 1

Physical Environment and Properties

Buildings and Grounds: General Use

Sec. 900-33: Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems/Drone Procedures

Responsible Office: Environmental Health & Safety and Risk Services
April 2018

References / Resources

Contact: EH&S and RS - dronesafety@uci.edu or the UAS/Drone Safety Specialist at (949) 824-6200

A. Policy and Scope

  1. This procedure applies to all UCI faculty, students, staff, affiliates, and Non-Affiliates on UCI Property, and details:
    1. how the UC Unmanned Aircraft System (Drone) Policy (Policy) is implemented at UCI; and
    2. the minimum requirements for the safe operation of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) on UCI Property. UCI is located less than five (5) miles from an airport which makes the UCI campus subject to additional Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and John Wayne Airport UAS flight restrictions.
  2. All UAS flights on UCI Property must:
    • Be reviewed and documented, see Procedures below for details;
    • Be at or below 100 ft;
    • Be at least 50 ft. from buildings; and
    • Not fly:
      • over people
      • over vehicles
      • at night or in low visibility weather.
  3. UAS cannot be flown in No Drone Zones.
  4. Any new or updated UAS safety regulations established by the FAA or any other applicable local government agency take precedence over this procedure.

B. Definitions

Certificate of Authorization (COA) The University has obtained a blanket COA from the FAA that permits the University to streamline approval of UAS flights for University business.
No Drone Zones The FAA and John Wayne Airport will not permit UAS to be flown in the following UCI campus locations:
  • Anteater Ballpark
  • Crawford Track and Field
  • Mesa Court Housing
  • North Campus.
Non-Affiliate Any person who is not a student, officer, official volunteer, employee, or emeritus of the University of California or a member of a household authorized to reside in University Property. Examples of non-affiliates include vendors, third-party vendors and visitors.
UCI Property Any University-owned, -operated or -leased property, including all University grounds and structures.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Recreational and non-recreational aircraft that are less than 55 pounds (also known as drones or UAVs).

C. Procedures

  1. Campus Community and University-owned UAS Procedures
    1. UAS Flights for University Business:
      1. Create Profile: All faculty, students, and staff must create a profile and submit all UAS information to the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) UC UAS Safety Management System through the Drone web application:
        • Select University of California, Irvine and click 'Next'
        • Login using your UCnet ID and Password
        • Click the Drones icon
          • Click on 'Pilot'
            • Under Certificate Type choose SUAS and Certificate # type: enter certificate number for registered UAS/Drone, save entry.
          • Click on 'Manage Flights'
            • Some information will automatically populate
            • Enter flight information and provide detailed description of flight in the comment box.
      2. Register UAS:
        • (a) All University owned or fabricated UAS must be registered on the UC Drones Web App:
          • Select University of California, Irvine and click 'Next'
          • Login using your UCnet ID and Password
          • Click the Drones icon
            • Click on 'Manage Aircraft'
              • Enter requested information.
              • Provide manufacturer and model information
              • Provide storage location
              • Faculty and Staff purchased UAS/Drones are considered UC owned, select YES when this question is asked.
              • Search Responsible Person by selecting University of California, Irvine and search Pilot name.
        • (b) All personally owned or fabricated UAS (for example, faculty using a privately owned vehicle for their research) must be registered with Risk Services: riskmgmt@uci.edu. The University’s insurance described below only covers personally owned UAS used for UC business if it is reported to and approved by the underwriter (via Risk Services).
      3. Flight submissions are subject to review by Environmental Health & Safety and Risk Services and UCOP Center of Excellence Unmanned Aircraft System Safety.
      4. Insurance and Liability

        The University of California has purchased an Unmanned Aircraft Liability Policy for University business flights. This policy has a total of $5 Mil limit with a $1 Mil Personal Injury sublimit and $1 Mil Products/Completed Operations sublimit. Coverage is automatic for UAS’s that meet the following criteria:

        • Aircraft weight under 55 lbs (at time of takeoff)
        • Flight operations are within Line of Sight
        • Flight operations are below 400 ft above ground level.
        • Flight operations are conducted on behalf and sanctioned by the University of California.
        • Flight operations are conducted within the United States.
    2. UAS Flights for Personal/Recreational Use:

      All faculty, students, and staff flying UAS for personal/recreational are subject to: Part C. 1. a. i.; a. ii. (b); and a. iii above; and the insurance requirements for Non-Affiliates detailed below.

  2. Non-Affiliates:
    1. Are subject to the Policy and UCI’s implementation of the Policy (see Part A. of this procedure);
    2. Are not covered by the COA that the FAA granted to the University; and
    3. Must meet all the following UCI Non-Affiliate UAS flight approval requirements:
      1. Comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding the safe use and operation, including:
        • Per FAA regulations, obtain a drone pilot license and registering any and all drones - https://www.faa.gov/uas/.
        • Obtain your own flight authorizations from the FAA and John Wayne Airport.
      2. Submit a temporary UAS flight request to dronesafety@uci.edu with the following information:
        • contact name
        • contact email
        • purpose of flight(s)
        • name of pilot
        • proposed:
          • UCI location of flight
          • number of flights
          • flight date(s)
          • flight start time(s)
          • flight end time(s)
      3. Provide proof of insurance to UCI that meets the following requirements:
        • A certificate of Aviation Liability or UAS Liability insurance with a minimum of $2,000,000 per occurrence/general aggregate (Note: required minimum limits are subject to change) that:
          • Names The Regents of the University of California and its directors, officers, employees, servants and agents (collectively, the “Indemnified Parties” and individually, the “Indemnified Party”) as additional insureds, as their respective interests may appear;
          • States that the operator’s insurance shall be primary without any right of contribution from any other insurance available to Indemnified Parties;
          • Includes a cross liability or severability of interests among Indemnified Parties, providing that the insurance shall operate in all respects as if a separate policy had been issued covering each party insured;
          • Includes a waiver of subrogation in favor of the Indemnified Parties; and
          • Provides that, in the event of a cancellation or material restrictive change of the policy which would adversely affect the interest of the Indemnified Parties, the insurers agree to provide 30 days prior written notice to The University.
    4. May only proceed with their flight(s) if and when:
      • all items under Part C.3.c above have been completed; and
      • flight approval is received from dronesafety@uci.edu.
    5. Must, upon request, present confirmation of flight approval from dronesafety@uci.edu and copies of FAA and John Wayne Airport authorizations.