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Drone (UAS) and Model Aircraft Policy

Lebanon Valley College Drone (UAS) and Model Aircraft Policy

March 29, 2018


This policy applies to all Lebanon Valley College employees, students, and hired or contracted owners of any unmanned aircraft systems on or above Lebanon Valley College property.

Policy Statement

The operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) including drones and model aircraft requires compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), relevant state laws, and Lebanon Valley College established procedures to ensure compliance with those legal obligations and to reduce risks to safety, security, and privacy.


All members of the Lebanon Valley College community are personally responsible for complying with FAA regulations, state and federal laws, and institution policies.

Any institution employee or student wishing to operate an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) as part of their employment or program must first:

  • Operate under the 2016 revision of FAA rules (Part 107) or
  • Obtain a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA)

You must contact Lebanon Valley College’s Division of Marketing & Communications for coordination and approval.

Any institution employee or student operating a UAS on institution property must contact Lebanon Valley College’s Division of Marketing & Communications to assess the institution’s ability to obtain a COA, other necessary FAA exemptions, comply with revised FAA requirement, or meet local compliance requirements. A usage agreement must also be completed.

Any third party or hobbyist wishing to use UAS or model aircraft over institution property must first:

  • Receive approval through Lebanon Valley College’s Division of Marketing and Communications
  • Complete a usage agreement (Forms should be filled out, and emailed back to the Office of Marketing & Communications)
  • Be under a contract that holds the institution harmless from any resulting claims or harm to individuals and damage to institution property
  • Provide proof of adequate insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 per occurrence and name Lebanon Valley College as an additional insured

For operating a UAS for purposes of recording or transmitting visual images, operators must take all reasonable measures to avoid violations of areas normally considered private. The use of UAS must comply with any other applicable institution policies.

UAS Operation Rules

  • Fly at or below 400 feet and stay away from surrounding obstacles
  • Keep UAS within sight
  • Never fly near another aircraft, especially near airports
  • Be properly registered either as a hobbyist, commercial, or civil craft according to FAA guidelines
  • Never fly closer than 5 miles from an airport without prior approval from air traffic control
  • Never fly over groups of people
  • Never fly over stadiums or sports events
  • Never fly near emergency response efforts, such as fires
  • Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Understand airspace restrictions and requirements based on your use of UAS (hobbyist, commercial, civil)


Prohibited Uses

UAS shall not be used to monitor or record areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in accordance with accepted social norms. These areas include but are not limited to restrooms, locker rooms, individual residential rooms, changing or dressing rooms, and health treatment rooms. UAS shall not be used in indoor areas unless permitted by the Lebanon Valley College Division of Marketing and Communications.


Designated Locations for Permitted Use

Lebanon Valley College has designated external buildings and grounds for institution-approved and FAA permitted uses. Prior institution approval is required to use this area. While operating a UAS in this area, please follow all FAA rules and guidelines as well as all established Institution guidelines for safe operation. If the operation of your UAS is deemed unsafe or used outside of the scope for which approval was initially granted, all privileges will be revoked and subject to further institution sanctions. Utilization of other campus areas outside of those designated by Lebanon Valley College for UAS operation is strictly prohibited.



Any violations of Institution policies by an individual will be dealt with in accordance with applicable Institution policies and procedures, which may include disciplinary actions up to and including termination from the Institution.

Legal prohibitions regarding physical presence on campus/trespassing and other legal action may also be pursued against third parties that operate UAS in violation of this policy. Fines or damages incurred by individuals or units that do not comply with this policy will not be paid by Lebanon Valley College and will be the responsibility of those persons involved.



Lebanon Valley College Property: Buildings, grounds, and land owned by Lebanon Valley College or controlled by Lebanon Valley College through leases or other formal contractual agreements to house ongoing Lebanon Valley College operations.

COA: Certificate of Authorization or Waiver. According to the FAA, the COA is an authorization issued by the Air Traffic Organization to a public operator for a specific activity. After a complete application is submitted, FAA conducts a comprehensive operational and technical review. If necessary, provisions or limitations may be imposed as part of the approval to ensure the Lebanon Valley College can operate safely with other airspace users. An abbreviated COA is issued with a Section 333 exemption.

Section 333 Exemption: FAA exemption based on Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) which grants the Secretary of Transportation the authority to determine whether an airworthiness certificate is required for a UAS to operate safely in the National Airspace System.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): UAS are also known as Drones. According to the FAA, a UAS is an unmanned aircraft and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft. UAS may have a variety of names including quadcopter, quadrotor, etc. FAA regulation applies to UAS regardless of size or weight. Model aircraft are not considered by the FAA as UAS and have different regulations.

Model Aircraft: Model aircraft are considered differently by the FAA than other UAS and have different regulations. Model aircraft are not for business purposes, only for hobby and recreation. (Use of UAS related to Lebanon Valley College does not qualify as model aircraft regulations.) Model aircraft must be kept within the visual sightline of the operator and should weigh under 55 pounds unless certified by an aeromodeling community-based organization. Model aircraft must be flown a sufficient distance from populated areas.

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