University of Minnesota  FAQ

Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones)


Expand all


Table of Contents

TOC placeholder


Please use the contact section in the governing policy.

  1. How long after I submit my program plan to the UASSB should I expect to wait for a response?

    The UASSB will issue most responses in three business days or less.

  2. Does the UASSB ensure that proposed UAS operations are consistent with federal and state law?

    No, the UASSB does not enforce or implement federal and state regulations; its goal is to ensure that UAS operations are coordinated and conducted in a safe manner. UAS operators have principal responsibility for ensuring that their operations are consistent with federal and state law.

  3. Do I have to obtain UASSB approval of a program plan for each flight individually, or will one program plan cover multiple flights?

    Program plans are not flight-specific; they cover any flights that take place within the range of dates and the area described in the plan.

  4. I plan to use a UAS indoors as part of a class. Do I need to submit a program plan to the UASSB?

    You need to submit a program plan only if the UAS operations will occur outdoors or in an indoor common area, such as a hallway, atrium, courtyard, lobby, or the like. UAS operations inside an enclosed classroom space do not trigger the UASSB notification requirement.

  5. I plan to use a UAS in my class every semester. Must a new UASSB approval be sought each time the use of UAS is repeated?

    Unless you are able to specify a range of dates at the time the program plan is submitted, you will need to submit one each term. You could note, however, that your plan is the same as one approved the prior year.

  6. Does the FAA regulate UAS operations indoors?

    No, the FAA regulates UAS operations only when they are outdoors, where the vehicles are not constrained by a ceiling or net.

  7. Do UAS operations that are authorized by the University’s blanket COA, but which occur outside of airspace over university property, need to be reviewed by the UASSB?

    No, the UASSB does not review project plans for UAS operations outside of airspace over University property. Of course, UAS operators must still comply with the terms of the blanket COA and any other applicable federal or local requirements.