Chapter 26 Glossary

Above Ground Level

The term Above Ground Level refers to the height measured with respect to the underlying ground surface.

Academy of Model Aeronautics

The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) is an model aviation association.


An aircraft is defined as a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.

Airspace Authorization

The term Airspace Authorization means a short term or temporary authorization granted by the FAA to a specific organization or person to operate within controlled airspace. An `Airspace Authorization’ may be granted with a COA or through LAANC.

Airspace Waiver

The term Airspace Waiver means a long term authorization granted by the FAA to a specific organization or person to operate within controlled airspace. An `Airspace Waiver’ is granted with a COA.

Beyond Visual Line of Sight

The term Beyond Visual Line of Sight means that a person is operating a UAS beyond the definition of Visual Line of Sight.


The term currency means to demonstrate that one’s skills and flight experience are ‘current’ or up-to-date. Currency may be defined with respect to a category, class or type of aircraft and is defined with respect to a specific time-interval.

Certificate of Waiver or Authorization

The term Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) means an authorization issued by the Air Traffic Organization, a division of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), for UAS operations. A COA is filed on FAA Form 7711.

Community-Based Organization

The term Community-Based Organization means a membership-based association entity that (1) is described in Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code of 1986; (2) is exempt from tax under section 501(a) of the IRS Code of 1986; (3) the mission of which is demonstrably the furtherance of model aviation; (4) provides a comprehensive set of safety guidelines for all aspects of model aviation addressing the assembly and operation of model aircraft and that emphasize safe aeromodelling operations within the national airspace system and the protection and safety of individuals and property on the ground, and may provide a comprehensive set of safety rules and programming for the operation of unmanned aircraft that have the advanced flight capabilities enabling active, sustained, and controlled navigation of the aircraft beyond visual line of sight of the operator; (5) provides programming and support for any local charter organizations, affiliates, or clubs; and (6) provides assistance and support in the development and operation of locally designated model aircraft flying sites. At this point, the FAA has not released an advisory circular that identifies the criteria and process required for recognition of community-based organizations.

Designated Local Authority

The Designated Local Authority is a single-point of contact or committee appointed by an Executive Officer at an individual University Location to oversee the development, implementation, and enforcement of any University Location-specific UAS related policies and procedures.


The term drone is a colloquial or common synonymous with Unmanned Aircraft System.

Executive Officer

The Executive Officer means any of the University of California’s Chancellors, Medical Center Chief Executive Officers, Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Federal Aviation Administration

The Federal Aviation Administration is a division of the United States Department of Transportation that inspects and rates civilian aircraft and pilots, enforces the rules of air safety, and installs and maintains air-navigation and traffic-control facilities.

Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability

The term LAANC refers to the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability, a collaboration between FAA and Industry. It directly supports UAS integration into the airspace. LAANC provides: Drone pilots with access to controlled airspace at or below 400 feet, Awareness of where pilots can and cannot fly and Air Traffic Professionals with visibility into where and when drones are operating.

Lithium Polymer

The term LiPo refers to the regular use Lithium Polymer batteries within UAS. These are now common in most electronics due to their light weight and high energy capacity. However, unlike other batteries, they need special care for charging, discharging and storage.

Location Specific Policy or Procedure

The term location specific policy or procedure means a policy or procedure, or a set of policies or procedures, established at a University Location. The policy or procedure must include a review as described in the UC UAS Policy Guidance Document, but may be flexible to address a diverse set of UAS activity.

National Airspace System

The term National Airspace System (NAS) means the common network of U.S. airspace, including all navigable airspace from the ground up, excluding regions under military jurisdiction. The NAS additionally does not include inside of buildings or enclosed structures.

National Traffic Safety Board

The National Traffic Safety Board is an independent U.S. government investigative agency responsible for civil transportation accident investigation, including aviation and UAS accidents.

Public Aircraft

The term Public Aircraft means an aircraft owned and operated by the government of a State, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States or a political subdivision of one of these governments, except when the aircraft is operated for commercial purposes.

Public Agency Operation

The term PAO means an operation conducted by a Public Aircraft that is used for a governmental function as defined by Title 49 USC 40125(a)(2). Specific UAS activity within the UC may be eligible for PAO status. Whether an operation qualifies as a PAO is determined on a flight-by-flight basis.

Remote Identification

The term Remote ID refers to the system required by the FAA for a drone in flight to provide identification and location information that can be received by other parties.

Remote Pilot Certificate

The term Remote Pilot Certificate means a certificate issued by the FAA that certifies that the owner of the certificate has sufficient aerospace knowledge to operate an Unmanned Aircraft within the National Airspace System. It may also be referred to as a ‘Drone License.’

Remote Pilot in Command

The term RPIC means the person who as the final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of an UAS operation. This may or may not be the person operating the Unmanned Aircraft. A person may manipulate the controls of a unmanned aircraft under the direct and immediate supervision of an RPIC.

Risk Score

For the purposes of this document, the term Risk Score refers to a customized Risk Score between 1-5 that communicates an approximately level of risk; ranging from minor to severe (potential to cause injury or significant property damage). See Section () for a description of the Risk Score and scoring matrix.

Small Unmanned Aircraft System

The term Small Unmanned Aircraft System means an Unmanned Aircraft weighing less than 55 lbs. and associated elements that are required to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system.

Systemwide Designated UAS Authority

The term Systemwide Designated UAS Authority refers to the authority appointed by the University of California Office of the President (UCOP) Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) Executive Director. The responsibilities of the Systemwide Designated UAS Authority include providing interpretation of UAS regulations, developing UAS policies and procedures, maintaining records of all UAS activity and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Temporary Flight Restriction

The Recreational UAS Safety Test

The Recreational UAS Safety Test, or TRUST, is the aeronautical knowledge and safety exam developed by the FAA for all drone operators. The TRUST is free and available online. It can be taken at any of the administrators found on the FAA’s website:

UAS Post-Flight Report

The term UAS Post-Flight Report refers to a documented submission of a record of UAS activity. More information on Post-Flight Reports can be found in the UC UAS Policy Guidance Document.

UAS Request Form

The term UAS Request Form or Flight Request refers to a documented request to operate a UAS pursuant to this Policy. The Policy does not mandate a specific form or system as long as the minimum review criteria is met. See UC UAS Policy Guidance Document for further details.

UC Drones

UC Drones is an online application developed by UC Risk and Safety Solutions that enables users to submit UAS requests and document UAS activity. The Systemwide Designated UAS Authority and the Designated Local Authorities may utilize UC Drones to review UAS activity.

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources

The UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) is a division of the University of California system that connects the power of UC research in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition, and youth development with local communities. UC ANR statewide programs includes 4-H, Cooperative Extensions, Master Gardener Program, and includes a system of Research and Extension Centers across California.

UC UAS Policy Guidance Document

The UC UAS Policy Guidance Document is a supplementary guidance document to help with the implementation of the UC’s UAS Policy. It contains information regarding how to review UAS activity, safety guidance and other resources. It can be found at

UC Natural Reserve System

The UC Natural Reserve System (UC NRS) is a system of protected ecosystems owned or managed by the University of California that is used for research, education, and public service. The reserves include examples of most of California’s major habitat types, from grasslands and deserts to coastal wetlands and conifer forests. With more than 40 sites encompassing some 756,000 acres and growing, the UC NRS is the largest university-administered reserve system in the world.

University Business

The term University Business means the official activities of a University that contribute to any one of the University’s major functions of teaching, research, patient care, or public service, or to any other non-recreational University purpose.

University Location

Any property or building that is owned or leased by the University where University business or activities take place.

Unmanned Aircraft

The term Unmanned Aircraft means an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft. This definition includes aircraft of all sizes.

Unmanned Aircraft System

The term Unmanned Aircraft System means an Unmanned Aircraft and associated elements (including communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft) that are required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system. For the purposes of this Policy, this includes unmanned aircraft of all sizes and includes unmanned aircraft operated indoors, in military airspace or in foreign airspace systems.

UAS Activity

The term UAS activity refers to the act of flying for a defined purposed. It may be used to represent a single flight, a set of flights within a single day, a set of flights across multiple days, and may encompass multiple locations.

UAS Advisory Board

The UAS Advisory Board is created by the Policy for the purposes of reviewing and developing future UAS policies.

Visual Line of Sight

The term Visual Line of Sight means that a person is able to 1) know the Unmanned Aircraft’s location, 2) determine the Unmanned Aircraft’s attitude, altitude and direction of flight, 3) observe the airspace for other air traffic or hazards, and 4) determine that the Unmanned Aircraft does not endanger the life or property of another.

Visual Observer

The term Visual Observer means a person who is designated by the RPIC to assist the RPIC and the person manipulating the flight controls of the UAS to see and avoid other air traffic or objects aloft or on the ground.

3rd Party

For the purposes of this document, a 3rd Party is defined as any person who is conducting University Business but is not affiliated with the UC or any person not conducting University Business.