The purpose of this policy is to:

  1. Establish the permitted use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) for University of Colorado Boulder (“CU Boulder”, “University”) business or otherwise on and over CU Boulder property;
  2. Establish the Flight Operations Manual (“FOM”) as the University procedures applicable to UAS use on campus and for University business; and
  3. Establish the committee responsible to oversee UAS operations at CU Boulder.

Policy Statement

  1. Authority 
    This policy is adopted pursuant to Laws of the Regents Article 14.B.3, which directs the Chancellor to adopt regulations and procedures governing the use of UAS on CU Boulder property and elsewhere if the UAS is university-owned or operated. This policy shall be interpreted consistent with the Federal Aviation Regulations (“FAR”) and other applicable Federal, state and local laws and regulations. This policy and procedures are in addition to the Federal Aviation Regulations (“FAR”), and are in no way intended to supersede the FAR, or other Federal, state or local law or regulation.
  2. Scope
    This policy is applicable to:
    1. University faculty, staff, students, collaborators and contractors operating UAS in any location as part of their University activities, including research, teaching, student organization, or employment.
    2. All platforms of UAS, regardless of size or weight, including but not limited to: UAS, UAV Drone, Model Aircraft.
    3. Any individuals who operate UAS on CU Boulder property, including persons not affiliated with the University.
    4. Any individuals operating UAS purchased with funding through the University, including University accounts, grants, or foundation accounts.
  3. Required Adherence to the Flight Operations Manual
    All pilots, including third parties, must adhere to the procedures associated with this policy and otherwise referred to as, the Flight Operations Manual or “FOM” when operating UAS on or over University property; when conducting University activities; and when operating University-owned UAS in other locations, as appropriate.

    No UAS may be used in a manner that violates the FOM or otherwise materially or substantially disrupts the University’s mission or operations. Illustrative but not definitive examples of prohibited disruption include:

    1. Endangerment to personal safety or property.
    2. Negative impact on rights of privacy.
    3. Noise that disrupts classes, research, administrative business, study, quiet enjoyment of housing and offices.
    4. Obstruction of, or interference with, free movement of pedestrians and vehicles.


  1. UAS Operational procedures (the Flight Operations Manual or FOM)
  2. SAR
  3. FAQs
  4. Director of Flight Operations (DO)
  5. CU Boulder Flight Operations Department
  6. CUUF Policy
  7. CU Boulder Office of Export Controls


Individuals and organizations in violation of this policy and associated procedures may be subject to discipline and penalties, as more fully articulated in the CUUF Policy and other University policies.


The “Flight Operations Manual” or “FOM” contains the procedures adopted by the University Director of Flight Operations for the permitted use of UAS under this policy.  The FOM outlines the minimum standard procedures for flights over, take-offs from and landings on, CU Boulder property as well as flights on behalf of CU Boulder at other locations.  Anyone with questions about the FOM or this policy should contact the Director of Flight Operations (DO) for assistance.

Any pilot proposing to operate UAS or export UAS equipment or technology to foreign countries or individuals should consult with the CU Boulder Office of Export Controls.

“Unmanned Aircraft System Advisory Committee” means the committee appointed by the Chancellor to:

  1. establish and maintain this policy;
  2. periodically review this policy and associated procedures and recommendations of the DO; and,
  3. review UAS policy and procedure exceptions proposed by the DO.

The Committee is chaired by the Associate Vice Chancellor for Integrity, Safety and Compliance and may include the following representatives:

  1. Associate Vice Chancellor for Integrity, Safety and Compliance, Chair
  2. Associate Vice Chancellor of Research Integrity & Compliance
  3. CU Boulder Police Department Representative
  4. Vice Chancellor for Infrastructure and Sustainability Representative
  5. Campus Use of University Facilities (CUUF) Committee Chairperson
  6. Director of Flight Operations
  7. IRISS Representative
  8. Research & Engineering Center for Unmanned Vehicles (RECUV) Representative
  9. University Risk Management Representative
  10. Student Affairs Representative
  11. Student Representative, appointed by the VC for Student Affairs

Effective Date

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Approved By

Philip P. DiStefano, Chancellor

Policy Owner

Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Safety