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Environmental Health and Safety

UC UAS Policy & Policy Guidance Issued

February 9, 2018

The UC UAS Policy has finally been finalized and released. Thank you everyone who has provided comments and feedback throughout this process.

Short recap:

  • Applies to all UC-owned UAS, all UAS used for University Business and all UAS operated at University Locations
  • Everyone must ‘Coordinate & Report’
  • Campuses are encouraged to develop location-specific procedures and policies that fit their needs (restrictions around residential housing, areas for recreation, long-term research sites)
  • Everything must be compliant with applicable regulations (FAA, International, registration, Export Control, State/Local)
  • UAS activity must be with consideration to public safety, privacy, civil rights and civil liberties

There will be plenty of questions about the policy and its implementation, so we've developed a living Policy Guidance Document (link). It will be regularly updated to provide updated regulatory information, best practices and lessons learned. Please feel free to suggest topics or recommendations for inclusion, or consider contributing to it or the upcoming UC UAS Operator Guide.

Some of topics in the Policy Guidance Document include

  • Background on UAS regulations
  • How to review UAS activity for compliance
  • UAS safety guidance
  • How to address special Use-Cases - Recreation, Education, Indoor


Given the flux in UAS regulations, it should come as no surprise that the Policy Guidance Document sent out with the Policy is already out-of-date. We'll update it shortly with the changes that came out late last week regarding Model Aircraft.


This marks an exciting step forward for drones in the University of California. We'll be making a couple more announcements in the coming weeks as we seek to update our Drone Report and prepare for the future with a UC UAS Advisory Board.