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Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems on Campus

The University of Utah campus is a high-traffic area, utilized by numerous entities including an extensive hospital network and emergency medical hellicopter operations (Air Med, Life Flight, etc.). As such, managing the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) on campus is a vitally important part of ensuring the safety of our campus community, as well as the patients and medical professionals who fly to and from campus sporadically each day, as emergency services dictate. 

 As a result of this high activity, the University requests a thorough and well-coordinated process in approving the use of UAS on and around campus. In accordance with this commitment to safety, approvals for operating an UAS on campus are given on a case-by-case basis with the proper notification of UPD, Air Med and campus stake holders.

Pilots approved for drone usage on campus must be aware of privacy issues regarding patients being treated at any of the hospitals and clinics on campus as well as the privacy of campus residents. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) ensures patients control over their medical information – including where and when they were treated. Any patient appearing in photos or video must have signed a release form if they can be identified. 

 The form at the end of this page will guide you through the approval process and ensure that the pilot seeking to operate an UAS on campus is licensed, compliant with FAA guidelines and attends to the necessary alert procedures to ensure a safe flight, posing no risk or interference to medical flight activity or other events on campus.

 The University of Utah has licensed drone pilots available for hire at a starting rate of $125/hour as well as an application process by which requests for flight permission can be made through this page. If you have questions, contact the Auxiliary Business Development Office at (801-585-1634). 


Q. If i'm an off-campus entity, can I operate a UAS on campus? 

A. Yes, with proper notification. All UAS operations must notify UPD (801-585-COPS (2677)) and Air Med (801-581-2500) 30 minutes prior to flight and request permission to take-off and land on campus using the flight request form below. Pilots using UAS for commercial purposes must be licensed and have a valid certificate of insurance (COI).  

Q. If I'm a department on campus, can I fly my own drone? 

A. The University has several licensed drone pilots, who we prefer you hire for your project. University pilots are available at a rate starting at $125/hour. Alternately, if you adhere to the requirements below and submit the request form permissions for flights may be granted on a case-by-case scenario. 

Q. Can I fly over Rice-Eccles Stadium during an event?

A. No. Drones are not allowed inside Rice-Eccles Stadium per FAA regulation. NOTAM 4/3621 restricts the use of aircraft, including drones, within 3 nautical mile radius and 3,000 feet in altitude above events at stadiums with a capacity of more than 30,000 persons. Temporary flight restrictions are in place one hour before gates open, during the event, and one hour after the conclusion of the event. 

Q. How do I request a licensed campus drone pilot?

A. To request a licensed University pilot, fill out this form. University pilots are available for hire at a rate starting at $125./hour. All requests must be made a minimum of 48 hours in advance of your desired flight time. This request does not guarantee a pilot will be available. 

Q. Can I hire a third party to get aerial photography or video of campus

A. Third parties are allowed to operate UAS on campus, pending approval of their flight request form. Strong preference is given to  licensed pilots that are affiliated with the University. You can request a University pilot by filling out this form

Requirements for Drone Flights

Drone request form

Last Updated: 9/25/18