Small Unmanned Aircraft System Safety Program
Indiana University Environmental Health and Safety (IUEHS) has developed the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Safety Program to protect employees, students, and the public against the potential hazards associated with the operation of small unmanned aircraft. This program establishes the minimum performance requirements for the safe operation of small UASs at Indiana University based upon the current and proposed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations as well as guidelines developed by the Academy of Model Aeronautics.
This program applies to all Indiana University employees, students, and overseeing departments that operate small UASs as part of university-related activities or research at Indiana University. This program also applies to any other person or entity that may operate small UASs on Indiana University property. Indiana University property includes all buildings, grounds, and land that are owned by Indiana University or controlled by Indiana University via leases or other formal contractual arrangements that accommodate ongoing Indiana University operations. Small unmanned aircraft as defined in this program include recreational and non-recreational aircraft that are less than 55 lbs. in weight. The requirements of this program do not replace or supersede new or current safety regulations or requirements established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), or any other applicable federal, state, or local authority. Operators or prospective operators of small unmanned aircraft should refer to Indiana University Policy PS-05 for additional restrictions and requirements regarding purchasing, registration, and operation of small unmanned aircraft.
Authority and Responsibility
- University Environmental Health and Safety is responsible for:
- Revising and updating the Small Unmanned Aircraft System Safety Program as necessary;
- Auditing departmental training records and procedures as necessary; and
- Maintaining a list of departmental program coordinators.
- Departments are responsible for:
- Assigning a Program Coordinator responsible for program implementation and oversight within the applicable department if small UASs are used by students or employees during university-related activities or research overseen by the department;
- Informing IUEHS regarding the creation or assignment of a Program Coordinator;
- Ensuring that employees and/or students are trained in the proper and safe operation of small UASs during university-related activities or research overseen by the department; and
- Taking appropriate corrective action when unsafe use, unsafe conditions, or non-compliance are reported to the department.
- Program Coordinators are responsible for:
- Coordinating overall implementation of this program within their respectable department;
- Maintaining documentation that certifies that small UAS operators have been trained in the proper and safe use of applicable aircraft; and
- Maintaining a list of all trained and registered small UAS operators that use small unmanned aircraft during university-related activities or research overseen by the department.
- Small UAS Operators are responsible for:
- Complying with all applicable aspects of this program and all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations regarding safe use and operation;
- Attending and completing training required by the overseeing department if applicable; and
- Presenting confirmation of registration with the IU Office of Insurance, Loss Control & Claims (INLOCC), and copies of any required FAA documentation upon request.
All operators shall be at least 18 years old, and shall meet all operator and aircraft requirements and obligations applicable to the aircraft and its specific use as required by the FAA and INLOCC prior to use. The following operational safety and use requirements apply to all UASs covered by this program.
Small UAS Operation
- UASs must weigh less than 55 lbs. (25 kg).
- UASs must remain within visual line of site (VLOS) of the operator.
- At all times, the UAS must remain close enough to the operator for the operator to be capable of seeing the aircraft with vision unaided by any device other than corrective lenses. Spotters or visual observers may be used to aid the operator, but cannot be used in place of the aforementioned requirement.
- UASs may not fly over or within 25 feet of any vehicles or unprotected persons. At least one spotter or visual observer must be utilized to ensure that individuals do not enter this safe fly zone unless the flight is performed in a remote area and it is reasonably unlikely for individuals or vehicles to unknowingly enter the safe the fly zone.
- UASs operated by hobbyists shall not be flown within 500 feet of University buildings or overhead utility lines. UASs operated by any non-IU entity for commercial purposes or by IU employees or students as part of any university-related activity or research shall not be flown within 100 feet of University buildings or overhead utility lines. If the commercial or university user requests permission to fly within 100 feet of these structures and is experienced in the operation of UASs, permission may be granted by IUEHS and other applicable stakeholders to fly no closer than 50 feet from these structures. Permission to fly within 50 feet of these structures will only be given when UAS operations are necessary for the approved inspection or maintenance of those structures.
- UASs shall not be flown over private property unless written consent is given by the owner.
- UASs may only be flown during daylight hours (official sunrise to official sunset, local time).
- UASs must yield the right-of-way to other aircraft, manned or unmanned.
- When weather conditions warrant, vigilance shall be maintained by each person operating an aircraft so as to “see and avoid” other aircraft. A first-person view camera or visual observer cannot satisfy the “see-and-avoid” requirement, but can be used to supplement.
- UASs shall not exceed a maximum airspeed of 100 mph (87 knots).
- UASs shall not exceed a maximum altitude of 400 feet above ground level.
- A minimum weather visibility of 3 miles must be maintained from the control location.
- No person may act as an operator for more than one unmanned aircraft operation at one time.
- No operations are permitted from a moving vehicle or aircraft, except from a watercraft on the water.
- No careless or reckless operations are permitted by operators.
- A preflight inspection is required by the operator in accordance with any guidelines applicable to the aircraft and its specific use as specified by the FAA. At a minimum, a visual inspection of the aircraft and a function test of all controls are required prior to takeoff.
- A person may not operate a UAS if he or she knows or has reason to know of any physical, mental, or drug-induced condition that would interfere with the safe operation of the aircraft.
- UASs must be operated in a manner that does not interfere with any other aircraft.
- When UASs are flown within 5 miles of an airport with an air traffic facility, the operator of the aircraft must provide the airport operator and the airport air traffic control (ATC) tower with prior notice of the operation.
- UAS operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport ATC tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport)).
- UASs with metal-blade propellers or gaseous boosts shall not be used unless special approval is received by IUEHS.
- UASs shall not carry hazardous chemicals, pyrotechnic devices that explode or burn, or materials that may separate from the aircraft during flight.
- If the UAS experiences a malfunction identifiable by the operator or visual observers, the UAS should be grounded immediately until the malfunction is corrected.
- Hobbyists shall not fly UASs within any indoor space. UASs operated by any non-IU entity for commercial purposes or by IU employees or students as part of any university-related activity or research shall not be flown within any indoor space containing people other than those directly related to the operation of that UAS.
Indiana University reserves the right to confiscate or restrict individual use of UASs, to administer corrective action for students or employees, and/or to notify the proper authorities in the event of non-compliance.
Training and recordkeeping
The overseeing department is responsible for providing or ensuring that training has been completed for students or employees that operate UASs during university-related activities or research overseen by the department.
The overseeing department is responsible for retraining or ensuring that retraining takes place whenever IUEHS or the overseeing department is notified or identifies operator deficiencies in procedures used by operators.
The training shall reestablish operator proficiency and introduce new or revised control methods and procedures, as necessary.
A copy of the records specified in this section shall be accessible to IUEHS upon request to the department Program Coordinator. Program Coordinators shall maintain employee/student training records for operators that contain the employee/student name, date of training, and the subject of the training. Employee training records shall be maintained for the duration of employment plus five years. Program Coordinators shall maintain a current list of small UAS operators that operate UASs during university-related activities or research overseen by the department.
New Document: March 5, 2015