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Drone Policy

Definition of a Drone

For the purposes of this policy, a drone is used to refer to all unmanned aircraft remotely piloted from the ground.

Commercial Use of Drones

Under FAA rules, the main SCU campus is in controlled airspace due to our close proximity to the SJC airport. Flights may only occur with FAA permission.

In 2016 and 2017, the FAA clarified the rules regarding drones and their usage by entities like SCU. The rules are clear: no use of drones for faculty research, no selling photos or videos taken from a drone, no using a drone to provide contract services such as wedding photography, photography of the campus, photography of campus roofing, and for other inspections.

What is Prohibited?

Personal use of drones. Our proximity to the SJC airport as well as concerns over safety, security, and privacy do not allow for the personal use of drones on campus.

What is Allowed?

Drone flights for educational purposes. Students can learn how to design, construct, and operate drones as a component of their coursework such as in connection with science, technology, engineering, film, or photography courses.

  • At this time, the School of Engineering Robotic Systems Laboratory is the only group that is allowed to fly on campus for any educational purpose.
  • For SCU departments that desire to fly for educational purposes, the School of Engineering Robotic Systems Laboratory can fly on your behalf.

For More Information

Click here to learn more about the drone policy.