Subject:                        Physical Plant    

Policy:                           Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

Effective Date:            October 3, 2018

Revised Date:              N/A

Review Date:              October 2021

Responsible Party:    Legal Counsel


UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM PROCEDURES AND GUIDANCE

Want to fly an unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) on or over Montana State University property?  Permission is required from Montana State University and you must follow the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules.

What types of uses of UAS are permitted on the Montana State campus? See the Types of UAS Use on University Property chart below.

Are hobbyist aircraft considered to be UAS under this policy? Yes. Under FAA regulations the term “unmanned aircraft system” includes what are commonly called “drones,” and includes radio controlled hobbyist aircraft.

Want to take photos or videos from your UAS when in flight?  Montana State University’s Filming and Photography policy must be followed when taking photos or videos from your UAS.


Types of UAS Use on MSU Property

Uses

MSU Student Operated

 MSU Employee Operated

Non-MSU Operated

Hobby or Recreation

With prior MSU approval, students with no connections to research or commercial use may fly UAS on or over MSU property if the proposed flying can be done safely without disruption of university activities and with appropriate protection for privacy.

Recreational users of model aircraft must adhere to the relevant FAA hobbyist rules. The FAA also requires federal registration of the UAS if the model aircraft is over 0.55 lbs.

An MSU employee cannot operate a UAS in their capacity as an employee without following the rules below for university uses. With prior approval, they can, however, operate as recreational user outside their MSU role as a non-MSU operator.

Recreational users of model aircraft must adhere to the relevant FAA hobbyist rules. The FAA also requires federal registration of the UAS if the model aircraft is over 0.55 lbs.

With prior MSU approval, persons or organizations with no connections to research or commercial use may fly UAS on or over MSU property if the proposed flying can be done safely without disruption of university activities and with appropriate protection for privacy.

Recreational users of model aircraft must adhere to the relevant FAA hobbyist rules. The FAA also requires federal registration of the UAS if the model aircraft is over 0.55 lbs.

Research

An MSU student who wishes to fly for course-related research purposes may do so under the Instructional Use rules below if it furthers their education.

MSU students working on a University approved research project should follow the rules for Research use listed below.

Researchers may use UAS in research with prior MSU approval, with an FAA 333 exemption or when adhering to Part 107 rules. UAS use for research purposes is considered commercial use, and as such, a researcher must obtain a FAA UAS pilot license.

With prior MSU approval, a third party may operate a UAS with an FAA 333 exemption or under Part 107 rules. Insurance is required as noted below.

Other University Use

With prior MSU approval, students flying UAS for university business may do so under MSU Operators – Requirements for University Use rules below if it is in the course and scope of MSU business. Insurance is required for non-university-owned UAS as noted below.

With prior MSU approval, employees flying UAS for university business may do so under MSU Operators – Requirements for University Use rules below if use is in the course and scope of MSU business. Insurance is required for non-university owned UAS as noted below.

With prior MSU approval, a third party may operate UAS with an FAA 333 exemption or under Part 107 rules, and if the use is in the course and scope of MSU business. Insurance is required as noted below.

Instructional/Registered Student Organizations

With prior MSU approval, students may operate a UAS in furtherance of aviation-related education under a special interpretation of FAA hobbyist rules.

 

 

 Extension

 

With prior MSU approval, an MSU employee may operate UAS under hobby or recreation rules at MSU and community-sponsored events so long as their role at MSU is not related to operating the aircraft at such events* or under Part 107 rules.

With prior MSU approval, a person or organization may operate UAS under hobby or recreation rules at MSU and community-sponsored events so long as they are not compensated. * 

Commercial

Students wishing to operate a UAS for commercial purposes are subject to the same rules as any other commercial operator.

MSU employees wishing to operate a UAS for commercial purposes are subject to the same rules as any commercial operator, as well as relevant conflict of interest policies.

With prior MSU approval under the Film and Photograph Policy, a person or organization may operate a UAS on campus for a commercial purpose in accordance with applicable FAA rules. Other commercial users should contact Legal Counsel for direction.

Educational Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)


 Hobbyist or Recreational Users - Requirements for hobbyist or recreational use:

For safety and privacy, FAA regulations stipulate you must operate in a careful and safe manner, keep your drone in sight, fly only during daylight, and not fly directly over non-participating people. All UASs at MSU must remain at least 25 feet from people, buildings, and vehicles.

Several UAS organizations have issued safety guidelines that hobbyists must adhere to when flying. These guidelines are not necessarily the same as FAA regulations. In the case of a guidance conflicting with FAA regulations, MSU will adhere to the FAA regulation.

  1. Request: Hobbyists or Recreational users must obtain permission, through the ORC at least two weeks prior, to flying a drone on campus by following the relevant provisions of the Facility Use Manual. (If your UAS is between 0.55 and 55 lbs., you will need your FAA UAS registration number prior to completing your request to MSU).
  2. Insurance: While flying a UAS on MSU property, you are responsible for any damage caused by its use and must maintain appropriate insurance to cover any damages. You may wish to become a member of the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)or other similar organization to obtain insurance coverage. You may comply with the requirement for aircraft liability insurance coverage in the following ways:

Option 1: General Liability Insurance

Provide a certificate of insurance from your general liability insurance company (usually your homeowners’ insurance carrier) showing that your policy applies to liabilities, in the amounts stated below, arising from the use of model/hobby aircraft:

Owned aircraft liability: $1,000,000 on an Occurrence basis with combined single limits for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage with a sublimit of at least $50,000 for Invasion of Privacy or a Personal & Advertising Injury endorsement. Coverage shall be primary without right of contribution by any other valid and collectible insurance available to MSU.

Non-Owned aircraft liability: $1,000,000 on an Occurrence basis with combined single limits for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage with a sublimit of at least $50,000 for Invasion of Privacy or a Personal & Advertising Injury endorsement. Coverage shall be primary without right of contribution by any other valid and collectible insurance available to MSU.

Aggregate Limit: If there is one, must be at least twice the occurrence limit.

The certificate holder and additional insured must be:

The State of Montana and Montana State University

c/o MSU Safety & Risk Management

Montana State University

Bozeman, MT 59717

Option 2: Academy of Model Aeronautics Insurance (or similar)

Provide to MSU Safety & Risk Management proof of coverage for at least $1,000,000 through the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) or similar organization. Coverage must be $1,000,000 on an Occurrence basis with combined single limits for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage with a sublimit of at least $50,000 for Invasion of Privacy or a Personal & Advertising Injury endorsement. Coverage shall be primary without right of contribution by any other valid and collectible insurance available to MSU. The state of Montana and Montana State University shall be named as Additionally Insured.

Aggregate Limit: If there is one, must be at least twice the occurrence limit.

The certificate holder and additional insured must be:

The State of Montana and Montana State University

c/o MSU Safety & Risk Management

Montana State University

Bozeman, MT 59717

3.  Operation: Approved Operators must operate the UAS in a safe manner and only at the time and place authorized. See Know Before You Flyand
     FAA Advisory Circular AC 91-57A, “Model Aircraft Operating Standards - Including Change 1.”

The university reserves the right to modify these requirements based on its determination of risk associated with the proposed activity.


MSU Operators - Requirements for university use:

Any university employee or student wishing to operate an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as part of their university employment or as part of a university program must comply with Part 107 rules, the university’s 333 exemption requirements and blanket Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) or MSU’s Public COA issued by the FAA. The Office of Research Compliance (ORC) is the FAA account holder for COAs for Montana State University and must process all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Process:

  1. Insurance is required for non-university owned UAS as follows:

Option 1: General Liability Insurance

Provide a certificate of insurance from your general liability insurance company (usually your homeowners’ insurance carrier) showing that your policy applies to liabilities, in the amounts stated below, arising from the use of model/hobby aircraft:

Owned aircraft liability: $1,000,000 on an Occurrence basis with combined single limits for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage with a sublimit of at least $50,000 for Invasion of Privacy or a Personal & Advertising Injury endorsement. Coverage shall be primary without right of contribution by any other valid and collectible insurance available to MSU.

Non-Owned aircraft liability: $1,000,000 on an Occurrence basis with combined single limits for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage with a sublimit of at least $50,000 for Invasion of Privacy or a Personal & Advertising Injury endorsement. Coverage shall be primary without right of contribution by any other valid and collectible insurance available to MSU.

Aggregate Limit: If there is one, must be at least twice the occurrence limit.

The certificate holder and additional insured must be:

The State of Montana and Montana State University

c/o MSU Safety & Risk Management

Montana State University

Bozeman, MT 59717

Option 2: Academy of Model Aeronautics Insurance (or similar)

Provide to MSU Safety & Risk Management proof of coverage for at least $1,000,000 through the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) or similar organization. Coverage must be $1,000,000 on an Occurrence basis with combined single limits for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage with a sublimit of at least $50,000 for Invasion of Privacy or a Personal & Advertising Injury endorsement. Coverage shall be primary without right of contribution by any other valid and collectible insurance available to MSU. The state of Montana and Montana State University shall be named as Additionally Insured.

Aggregate Limit: If there is one, must be at least twice the occurrence limit.

The certificate holder and additional insured must be:

The State of Montana and Montana State University

c/o MSU Safety & Risk Management

Montana State University

Bozeman, MT 59717

University-owned UAS must be reported to MSU Safety & Risk Management for liability insurance coverage prior to first use.

  1. Request approval from the ORC, at least one week prior to flying, by describing the proposed use of the UAS, the location of proposed use.
  2. The ORC will have one week to determine whether a proposed use can be approved as described, needs modification for approval, or should be denied. ORC may only approve those uses that are covered by FAA authorization.
  3. If ORC denies a proposed use, the denial may be appealed in writing to the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (VPRED).
  4. If the proposed activity involves the use of campus outdoor space, users must also follow the relevant provisions of the Facility Use Manual.

 

Requirements for University Purchase of UAS

Prior to any university researcher, employee or unit purchasing a UAS (or the parts to assemble a UAS) for university use, a review by the Office of Research Compliance is required to assess the university’s ability to obtain FAA authorization for the requested use and that the use is consistent with university policies and insurance requirements.

Process:

  1. Submit Purchasing Requisition Form to ORC, at least one week prior to purchase, with a description of the proposed use.
  2. ORC will have one week to review to assure that proper certification and compliance with university requirements are met.
  3. Upon obtaining ORC approval, submit requisition to Purchasing.
  4. All university-owned unmanned aircraft system (UAS) must be reported to MSU Safety & Risk Management immediately after purchase. If physical damage coverage is desired, contact Safety & Risk Management to schedule your craft for coverage after purchasing the UAS and before using it. The department owning the UAS will be responsible for any losses if not scheduled for physical damage coverage.

Non-MSU Operators use for university purposes- Requirements if an MSU unit is contracting with a third party to operate UAS on or over university property:

  1. Request: The operator or the unit contracting for the services must submit request for permission as set forth for the use (e.g., Research, Instructional, etc.) and provide a 333 exemption, Part 107 remote pilot license, or similar authorization number from the FAA.
  2. Agreement Terms: Purchasing requirements apply to the contract and the standard terms approved by Purchasing must be included in the agreement.
  3. Insurance Coverage Compliance:

Owned Aircraft Liability:                     $2 million

Non–Owned Aircraft Liability:            $2 million

Commercial General Liability:            $1,000,000 per occurrence; $2,000,000 aggregate

-Policy shall name The State of Montana and Montana State University as additional insureds.

-Coverage should be on an Occurrence basis with combined single limits for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage with a sublimit of at least 
 $50,000 for Invasion of Privacy or a Personal & Advertising Injury endorsement. Coverage shall be primary without right of contribution by any other valid
 and collectible insurance available to MSU.

-Insurance companies shall be licensed to do business in the State of Montana and have a minimum AM Best Rating of A-VII.

-Certificates must be issued and on file prior to UAS operation on MSU property.

-The purchase of any policy or adding The State and Montana State as additional insured shall not limit the defense of governmental immunity.

-Certificates and Endorsements shall be sent to:

  MSU Safety & Risk Management

  Montana State University

  Bozeman, MT 59717

The university reserves the right to modify these requirements based on its determination of risk.


Additional Information 

Hobbyists and recreational users of UAS (e.g., students, faculty, the general public) are mostly unregulated by the FAA. MSU does not prohibit recreational uses, but does require pre-approval with consideration for:

  • Safety (preventing injuries, collisions, dangerous distractions)
  • Privacy (use of cameras on UAS)
  • Disruption of other activities 

Safety Issues:  Commercially available UAS can weigh up to 55 pounds under FAA regulations. A flying object of even a few ounces can cause injury to people, animals and property. The time, place and purpose of the proposed use of the UAS will be important considerations in determining whether the use the UAS may be approved.

Privacy Issues:  There are certain areas on campus where the expectation of privacy is such that the use of a UAS may not be appropriate (e.g., residence hall, locker rooms and restrooms).

Please Note:  It is absolutely against FAA regulations to fly over the stadium in particular.


RESOURCES

Iowa State University UAS Regulations Frequently Asked Questions Page