Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Small “UAS” or Drones)

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also called unmanned aerial vehicles or “drones,” are considered aircraft according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). All aircraft operating in the National Airspace System must follow Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations. Rapid advances in technology provide opportunities for the use of UAS as a tool for education, research, and outreach.
The policy below applies to University of Rhode Island (URI) owned and non-owned UAS when operated by:

  • URI employees, students, and other individuals as part of URI activities at any location (URI User)
  • Individuals performing contracted services for the URI under FAA civil and governmental use at any location and (Commercial Civil UAS User)
  • Sanctioned student clubs on or above URI property

All operations of UAS by URI Users, Commercial Civil UAS Users, or Hobbyists on or above URI property must complete, sign, and submit a URI Flight Permit Application for Unmanned Aircraft Systems to the Office of Emergency Management and receive approval for UAS flights in support of a specific project. If approved, the UAS operator must follow URI policy, state and federal laws, and FAA Rules and Regulations.