Category: Facilities, Transportation, & the Environment
Title: Policy Governing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones)
Approved by: President’s Executive Council
Date Approved: May 1, 2018
The undergraduate Claremont Colleges - Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College - together with Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute (collectively, The Claremont Colleges), seek to integrate the exciting technological advances made possible by the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles into classroom instruction, institutional research, recreational and commercial uses while still maintaining a safe environment for their campuses and the surrounding community.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are governed by the Federal Aviation Administration, which regulates their use generally and imposes additional requirements on those operating close to airports. The Claremont Colleges are located close to Cable and Brackett Airports.
Entities Covered by this Policy
All members of The Claremont Colleges, including faculty, staff, and students.
Third party operators who fly Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in any airspace above The Claremont College’s property, including vendors contracted by any member of The Claremont Colleges but excluding law enforcement agencies that fly drones over The Claremont Colleges’ property during the course and scope of law enforcement activities.
Please direct any questions about this Policy to:
The Claremont Colleges Services Risk Management Department
Commercial User: A person who flies an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for hire, compensation, or as part of or incidental to a business. This includes faculty or paid teacher’s assistant use when flown as part of a class or for the faculty member’s own research.
Recreational/Hobbyist User: A person who flies an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for fun, relaxation or recreation and not for compensation/hire or in furtherance of a business or incidental to a business. This includes student use for classroom or educational purposes (but not when assisting a faculty member in his/her research).
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) - Any contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate or fly in the air without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft. This includes model aircrafts, which are unmanned aircrafts capable of sustained flight, flown within the visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft, which are flown for hobby or recreational purposes. These are also called unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and are more commonly referred to as “drones.” For purposes of this Policy, they will be referred to as “drones.”
The Claremont Colleges’ Property - All domestic and international buildings, ground and land owned by any member of The Claremont Colleges or controlled by any member of The Claremont Colleges by lease or other contractual agreement. A map of The Claremont Colleges’ Property located in Claremont, California is attached as Exhibit A.
FAA - the Federal Aviation Authority.
Rules Regarding the use of Drones on the Claremont Colleges Property
- All drone operators are personally responsible for becoming familiar with, understanding, and complying with all federal, state and municipal rules and guidelines for safe drone use. The FAA is the federal governing body that manages drone operations. The FAA’s website contains helpful and essential information for all drone users, including safety and privacy considerations; registration rules; how to report an accident; a FAQ section; and information about its mobile app, B4UFLY, which provides information on airspace restrictions.
- Drones flown on TCC Property may not exceed 55 pounds.
- All drone flights must be registered with Campus Safety through a simple online form at least 24 hours prior to the drone being flown on TCC Property. The form can be located at on the CMC Campus Safety website.
- Unless a flight is conducted by a third party operator consistent with paragraph 9, below, only drones which are owned by one of The Claremont Colleges and registered with The Claremont Colleges Services Risk Management Department (who will list the drones on the governing insurance policy’s schedule) may be flown on TCC Property.
- Students who fly drones as part of ongoing, credited coursework are not required to obtain a FAA Drone Operator Certificate. Faculty may assist students in drone operations so long as the operation is part of credited coursework, the student retains primary operational control, and any faculty control is incidental and secondary to the student’s (e.g. momentarily taking control if student loses control or to terminate the flight). Faculty use on campus as part of their professional duties as an employee of TCC but outside of student coursework are required to obtain certification as a drone operator from the FAA.
- The drone user may not use the drone’s technology to monitor or record areas where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy based on societal norms (e.g. the interior of a building, through a window).
- Because portions of TCC are within a five mile radius of two local airports (Cable and Brackett), before operating a drone on TCC Property, drone users must abide by the following protocols:
- Cable Airport - Recreational
- Notify airfield management in advance of the flight. From 8 am - 5 pm Monday through Friday, airfield management can be reached at 909-982-6021. After hours, airfield management can be reached via call or text to 951-315-9224 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Drone users must also understand and abide by Cable’s Safety Zones (attached as Exhibit B), which prohibits flight in Zones 1-5 without prior FAA clearance and limits flight to no higher than 200 feet above the ground while in Zone 6. Drone operators who desire an exception to the Safety Zones must contact Campus Safety 24 hours prior to the flight. Campus Safety will contact Cable Airport to request an exception and notify the drone operator prior to the flight of Cable’s response.
- Cable Airport - Commercial
- No Notice/Waiver Required
- Brackett Airport - Recreational
- If any portion of the flight enters the orange area signifying a five mile radius from Brackett (see Exhibit C), you must notify airport management and the control tower. From 7 am - 10 pm, the control tower can be reached at 909-593-2530. Airport operations can be reached at 909-844-7805. Employees at both numbers need to be provided with notice during those time frames, and no notice is required outside of those time frames. Flights within the blue area (signifying Class D airspace) are prohibited.
- Brackett Airport - Commercial
- If any portion of the flight enters the blue area signifying Brackett’s controlled Class D airspace (see Exhibit C), a waiver to fly in Class D from the FAA must be obtained in advance of the flight. Please note that an average time to obtain the required waiver is 30-45 days from submission. Otherwise, notice or waivers are not required if flying in Class G airspace.
- In addition to the limitations specified in paragraph 5 for the airspace around Cable, drones must be flown no higher than 400 feet above the ground on all Claremont Colleges’ Property.
- Any Claremont Colleges member who contracts with a third party to operate a drone on The Claremont Colleges’ Property must ensure the contractor: a) has the required FAA certificates and registration; b) provides proof of general liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 and worker’s compensation insurance; c) adds its college as well as all other member institutions of The Claremont Colleges as additional insureds on its general liability insurance and obtains an additional insured endorsement naming its college as well as all other member institutions of The Claremont Colleges as additional insureds; and d) is aware that The Claremont Colleges are within five miles of Cable and Brackett Airports.
- FAA safety guidelines include: keeping the drone within your line of sight; never flying near other aircraft; never flying near emergency response efforts; never flying while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; flying during daylight hours; and being aware of airspace requirements at all times.
- Any drone user which demonstrates unsafe or inappropriate flying behavior may be asked to immediately cease flying by any employee of The Claremont Colleges.
- Several of TCC own or lease property beyond the parameters of the main campus locations in Claremont. Contact the institution directly for any rules regarding drone use at locations outside the main campus in Claremont.
A - Map of TCC Property in Claremont, California
B - Cable Safety Zone Definitions Cable Safety Zone Map
C - Brackett