Use of Drones/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Policy

Responsible Office or Person: Director of Aviation Sciences

Issued: December 4, 2018

Related Law & Policy:


This policy applies to all members of the Carroll University community, including but not limited to employees, students, clubs, organizations, vendors and any other individuals who are operating an unmanned aircraft systems and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS), also known as drones, as part of their employment or as part of any university-related research or activity. This policy also applies to any person or entity not affiliated with the university that may operate a UAS on Carroll University property. This includes recreational and non-recreational aircraft. 

Policy Statement

UAS may not be operated from, on, or over university facilities or property without advance approval from the Director of Aviation Sciences. Carroll University is located within 5 miles of the Waukesha County Airport, and as such, operation of a drone or UAS is prohibited unless you have permission from the FAA. Operation of UAS shall only be permitted when prior approval has been granted, and in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration Regulations and university policies. Any person operating a UAS on university land is personally responsible for complying with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, state and federal laws and university policies.

Authorization by the FAA to operate a UAS does not constitute permission from the university. Certificates of Authorization (COA) or Certificates of Waiver (COW) issued by the FAA to UAS operators shall only be used in accordance with the terms under which they were issued and in conjunction with university approval.


Certificate of Authorization or Waiver (COA) or (COW): According to the FAA, the COA is an authorization issued by the Air Traffic Organization to a public operator for a specific UAS activity. After a complete application is submitted, FAA conducts a comprehensive operational and technical review. If necessary, provisions or limitations may be imposed as part of the approval to ensure the UAS can operate safely with other airspace users. In most cases, FAA will provide a formal response within 60 days from the time a completed application is submitted.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): A UAS is the unmanned aircraft and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft. A UAS may have a variety of names including drone, unmanned aircraft vehicle, unmanned aircraft, quadcopter, quadrotor, etc. FAA regulation applies to UAS regardless of size or weight.


A university employee or student planning to operate an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as part of their university employment or used in support of research, teaching or testing as part of a university program on or off university lands or property must first contact the Director of Aviation Sciences. The individual will then need to obtain a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or necessary exemption if applicable.

Use by university employees or students as part of any university related activity or research does not fall into the hobbyist (model aircraft) category, unless the following conditions are met:

If any third party or hobbyist wishes to use a UAS or model aircraft over university lands or property, the individual must receive approval by the Director of Aviation Sciences. Third parties planning to use a UAS must also provide proof of FAA approval. Third parties must apply directly with the FAA (FAA certification is not required for hobbyists-model aircraft operators. However, hobbyists or model aircraft operator must still comply with all pilot and device registrations required by the FAA). In addition, the operation of a UAS by a third party or hobbyist over university property must be under a contract which holds the university harmless from any resulting claims or harm to individuals and damage to university property.

In operating a UAS (non-hobby or hobby use) for purposes of recording or transmitting visual images, operators must in addition to the above requirements, take all reasonable measures to avoid violations of areas normally considered private. A UAS shall not be used to monitor or record areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in accordance with accepted social norms. These areas include but are not limited to restrooms, locker rooms, individual residential rooms, changing or dressing rooms, campus daycare facilities, and health treatment rooms. Note: In Wisconsin, it is a misdemeanor for a private individual to use a drone to "photograph, record, or otherwise observe another individual in a place where the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy." (Wis. Stat. § 942.10).

A UAS shall not be used to monitor or record sensitive institutional or personal information which may be found, for example, on an individual's workspace, on a computer or other electronic displays.

The Director of Aviation Sciences is responsible for providing or ensuring operators are trained in the use of the drone in which they will operate.

Operators shall be mindful of the safety of people and risk of property damage and aware of potential failure modes for their systems. All built-in safety features shall be tested before flying.

Operators must be in line sight during operation over university lands and always avoid flying over crowds.

Failure to follow this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination (employees) or dismissal (students) and could lead to local and federal penalties.


Panoramic View of campus