Chapter 1 The Presidential UAS Policy

The purpose of the University of California (UC) Presidential Policy on Unmanned Aircraft Systems is to establish minimum standards for the safe use and operation of Unmanned Aircraft System and Small Unmanned Aircraft System, including drones and model aircraft, on any University Location or for any University Business. The Policy requires that all UAS operations are performed in a manner that mitigates risk to safety, security and privacy, and ensures compliance with any applicable regulation. A copy of the text of the Policy can be found in Chapter 23.

The scope of the policy includes:

The Policy is summarized as below:

1.1 Role of the Presidential UAS Policy

The use of UAS is very nuanced across the wide diversity of use and few static generalizations regarding standards are appropriate. The Policy is intended to be flexible and adaptive to a wide range of needs. It is not intended for direct implementation for end-users, rather it is intended for a University Location to aid in the oversight and management of UAS by setting uniform minimum compliance standards and in the establishment of a Designated Local Authority to provide services at the end-user level, department level, campus level and system level.

The value of the Policy is in the structure of the management of UAS activity. By establishing a common process and listing out roles and responsibilities, the Policy provides the UC system with:

  • Access to UAS subject matter experts.
  • Standardized interpretation of UAS related regulations.
  • Ability to share best practices across campuses.
  • Transparency and accountability on UAS activity.
  • Transparency and accountability on UAS activity request reviews.

1.2 Role of the Systemwide Designated Authority

The role of the Systemwide Designated UAS Authority is defined as

  • Provides interpretation of UAS regulations.
  • Develops internal University policies on certification and flight safety training.
  • Reviewing and approving applications for operation of UAS at a University Location or for University Business.
  • Maintains a record of all UAS activity within the scope of the Policy.
  • Ensures Policy compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
  • Tracks and manages the University response to pending and upcoming UAS legislation, regulations, policies and guidances.

1.3 Role of the UAS Advisory Board

The UAS Advisory Board is responsible for:

  • Reviewing exemptions from the Policy.
  • Assisting in the development of systemwide UAS policies.
  • Reviewing and commenting on proposed policies and long-term goals.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of systemwide UAS policies and safety metrics.
  • Ensuring that systemwide UAS policies remain consistent with applicable privacy best practices (See Chapter 15).

Active areas of discussion for the UAS Advisory Board are anticipated to include:

  • Guidance and standards on location specific policy or procedure.
  • Proposed UAS regulations on UAS activity above non-participating persons.
  • Proposed UAS regulations related to UAS delivery services.
  • Counter-UAS technology deployment and use.
  • Delivery services.

1.4 Outside of the Scope of the Systemwide Policy

UAS Activity not covered within the scope of the Policy:

The use of UAS by Emergency First Responders may additionally be exempt as necessary. However, any use of UAS by Emergency First Responders must follow their internal department protocols.

1.5 Congruence With Existing UCOP Policies

All efforts have been made to ensure that the Policy is congruent with existing UCOP policies.

Examples of congruence with existing UCOP policies: