Over the Summer a UAS Committee was formed to start drafting a campus drone policy which will outline how, when and where drones can be used on the Trinity College campus. We solicited feedback and input from many constituents on campus including, Campus Safety, the Dean of Students Office, Risk Management, Communications, Athletics as well as students and faculty.
The committee had to consider FAA regulations that require any commercial operations to be conducted by FAA Certified Remote Pilots, airspace considerations, insurance and liability issues, privacy and basic safety when flying on a congested urban campus. Since the Trinity Campus is located in Brainard Airport’s Controlled Class D air space no commercial flights can be allowed on campus until we receive an FAA Airspace waiver which is in process. Recreational users are permitted to fly as long as they follow published guidelines which require pilots to:
- Fly at or below 400 feet
- Be aware of airspace requirements and restrictions
- Stay away from surrounding obstacles
- Keep your UAS within sight
- Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
- Never fly over groups of people
- Never fly over stadiums or sports events
- Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires
- Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol
In the end we hope to craft a policy that will allow students, faculty and staff to utilize drones for teaching, research, recreation and college promotional materials while ensuring operations are conducted safely and legally.