FAQs Concerning Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Yes. The FAA requires that the university obtain approval from the FAA for any use of a UAS in navigable airspace, whether the use is considered a public aircraft or a civil operation. In order to ensure that the university fulfills its obligations under the law and under certifications made to the FAA, the university requires institutional approval, through the UAS Committee, of any use of a UAS in navigable airspace.
Institutional approval is required even when the UAS is owned and operated by a third party with its own approval from the FAA for the UAS use, because the university must make clear in such circumstances that the third party is operating under its own authorization and not as a contractor for the university under a university-held public COA or FAA authorization for civil UAS operation by the university.
You will need to fill out one application for yourself and another that will cover all your students. When filling out the application for your students you do not need to list all the students as operators, but you do need to have a complete and updated class roster that is available for inspection during all operations. Registration numbers for students UAS can be provided at a later time if you do not have them available when applying. However, you are responsible for ensuring that each UAS is registered before it is operated.
The Office of Research Assurances does not have the authority to approve personal UAS use on campus. To conduct such operations you much seek approval from the Executive Director of the Office of Public Safety and Security. See APM 95.35 and APM 35.35.
There are currently two options available; one that anyone can use and one that only those pilots with current Part 61 Certification can use.
Option #1 Knowledge Test (anyone): You can apply to take a knowledge test at an FAA approved testing center. Once you pass you obtain a report showing you passed and then complete an FAA application and submit it with the report attached. The contents of the knowledge test and recurrent knowledge tests can be found at 14 CFR 107.73. The certification only lasts for 24 months, after which a recurrent knowledge test would have to be taken.
Option #2 Part 61 Pilots: You need to set up an account with the FAA and then complete a part 107 initial training course; after which you will obtain a certificate. You then fill out the application and submit it to a Flight Standards District Office, a designated pilot examiner, an airman certification representative for a pilot school, a certified flight instructor, or other person authorized by the FAA Administrator. You must also show you meet the flight review requirements specified in 14 CFR 61.56, which can be done by logbook endorsement. Note: this does not apply to Student Pilot Certificate holders.