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 operation of any Unmanned Aircraft owned by the UC.
- The operation of any Unmanned Aircraft at or within the property owned or managed by the UC.
- The operation of any Unmanned Aircraft used for University Business.
The Policy is summarized as below:
- The Policy establishes a Systemwide Designated UAS Authority.
- The Policy establishes the development of a UAS Advisory Board.
- The Policy establishes that an Executive Officer of a University Location may appoint a Designated Local Authority.
- The Policy establishes that an Executive Officer of a University Location may authorize the development and implementation of location specific policies or procedures at any University Location within the Executive Officer’s jurisdiction.
- The Policy establishes that anyone who seeks to operate a UAS under the jurisdiction of this policy must:
- All UAS activity under this Policy must be documented and reported.
- All UC-owned UAS must be properly registered to the UC and submitted to the Designated Local Authority or Systemwide Designated UAS Authority.
- Registration documents for UAS used for University Business must be submitted to the Designated Local Authority or Systemwide Designated UAS Authority.
- All UAS activity must have aviation liability coverage.
- All UAS activity foreign nations or by foreign nationals must follow export control regulations and the UC Export Control Policy.
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.
1.3 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:
- Personally-owned Unmanned Aircraft not used for University Business and not flown at a University Location.
- Personally-owned Unmanned Aircraft used for coursework (Chapter 11) and not used at a University Location
- Student club-owned Unmanned Aircraft not used at a University Location
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:
- APM 015-016 addresses the Faculty Code of Contact and the administration of discipline in regards to policy non-compliance.
- APM 150-160 addresses Non-Senate Academic Appointees Grievances and Corrective Actions in regards to policy non-compliance.
- BFB-BUS-19: Registration and Licensing of University-Owned Vehicles addresses registration and requires that all motor vehicles, aircraft and watercraft shall be registered on behalf of the University by the designated University location representative and the designated University location representative ensures governmental compliance.
- BFB-BUS-29:Management and Control of University Equipment establishes the requirements of management and control of UC equipment.
- BFB-BUS-81: Insurance Programs establishes that the University purchases aviation insurance to provide coverage for liabilities arising from the University’s aviation operations that result in bodily injury and/or property damage.
- PACAOS-14: Definitions establishes common definitions used in Policies Applying to Campus Activities, Organizations and Students (PACAOS), including definitions of ‘Campus’, ‘Property’ and ‘University’.
- PACAOS-30: Policy on Speech and Advocacy establishes that the University is committed to assuring that all persons may exercise their constitutional rights.
- PACAOS-40: Policy on Use of University Properties establishes the policy on the use of University properties that provides the basis for oversight.
- PACAOS-100.00 Policy on Student Conduct and Discipline addresses policy non-compliance for students and visitors to a University Location.
- PPSM 62-65 addresses policy non-compliance for employees and staff members of the UC.
- Management of Health, Safety and the Environment states that all University Activities are to be conducted in a manner than ensures the protection of students, faculty, staff, visitors, the public, property and the environment.
- Policy on Reporting and Investigating Allegations of Suspected Improper Governmental Activities addresses the responsibility of the UC to detect, prevent or deter improper activities.
- Export Control Policy addresses requirements for export controlled equipment (including UAS) and their use internationally and by foreign nationals.