Risk Management & Insurance


UAS & Drones

aerial view of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Recreational Drones

Technological improvements have led to a significant increase in the use of recreational model aircraft and drones (also known as unmanned aerial systems or UASs). Federal laws and regulations that govern the use of UASs are extensive and complex. University faculty, staff, students, and unaffiliated people who want to operate recreational drones or model aircraft on the UC Santa Barbara campus must operate them in accordance with these laws and regulations and the campus approval process. This section explains how to get approval to fly recreational drones and model aircraft on the UC Santa Barbara campus. If you are using University drones for scientific, research, educational, or business purposes, go to UAS & Drones: Drones for Research & Business.

Flying for Fun or Recreation

Flying for fun or recreation is defined as follows:

  • The pilot will not be paid or receive any compensation for the flight.
  • The flight cannot be performed as a service, paid or unpaid, for any person or organization.
  • The flight must be operated within visual line of sight.
  • The flight must be in compliance with a community-based set of safety guidelines.

ALL RECREATIONAL FLIGHTS

  • Keep UAS within sight.
  • No flying over people.
  • No flying over stadiums and sports events.
  • No flying near other aircraft.
  • No flying over moving vehicles.
  • No flying near emergency response efforts.
  • Check for airspace conditions (FAA B4UFLY or Airmap™).
  • Check local regulations.
  • Fly only in reasonable weather conditions.
  • For additional information go to FAA’s FLY FOR FUN at https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/fly_for_fun/.

RECREATIONAL FLIGHTS ON UCSB CAMPUS

RECREATIONAL FLIGHTS OFF-CAMPUS (but within 5 miles of SBA)

Flying for Scientific Research or Business

If you are using University drones for scientific, research, educational, or business purposes, go to UAS & Drones: Drones for Research & Business.

UC Center of Excellence on UAS Safety

The University has established the UC Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft System Safety to provide assistance to University faculty, staff, students, and unaffiliated people who want to fly drones on campus for fun and recreation. This section will describe how the Center can help drone users get approval to fly recreational drones and model aircraft on campus and how to plan flight operations so that they comply with Federal laws and regulations. The Center also advises users about drone registration, pilot-licensing requirements, and risk management concerns that bear on the safe operation of drones. The Center coordinates the approval process with the UCSB Police and the UCSB Risk Management Office for the use of recreational drones and model aircraft on the UCSB campus.

Director Brandon Stark, UC Merced
Email: UASSafety@ucmerced.edu
Email: bstark@ucmerced.edu
Phone: (209) 201-2051
Website: OPRS: UC UAS Safety
Contact erm@ucop.edu to be added to the UC-UAS-RESEARCH-L listserv

Approving Recreational Flights on Campus

At UCSB, the UC Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft System Safety must review and approve all use of recreational drones and model aircraft on the UCSB campus to ensure that flight operations are legal and safe.

UC EMPLOYEES & STUDENTS

  1. Go to the UC Drone Web App to create and submit a Flight Request application. The Flight Request application should be submitted at least a week in advance of the planned flight.
  2. The UC Center of Excellence will review the Flight Request application. The Center may suggest changes to the proposed flight operations to bring the flight into compliance with Federal law and regulations or to make it consistent with best practices.
  3. The applicant must revise the Flight Request to comply with the Center’s recommendations and resubmit the Flight Request to the Center for a final review.
  4. The Center will submit its recommendation to approve or deny the Flight Request application to the UCSB Police and the UCSB Risk Management office.
  5. The UCSB Police and Risk Management will review the Center’s recommendation and inform the Center of their decision to approve or deny the Flight Request application.
  6. The Center will inform the applicant that the Flight Request application has been approved or denied.
  7. If the Flight Request is approved, the applicant must comply with the Center’s final recommendations.
  8. At the conclusion of the flight, the applicant must complete a Flight Report through the UC Drone Web App.

NON-EMPLOYEES & NON-STUDENTS

  1. People who want to fly a personally-owned recreational drone or model aircraft on campus must complete and submit a Flight Request form to the Center. (People who are not employees or students do not have access to the UC Drone Web App and cannot use it to submit a Flight Request application to the UC Center of Excellence).
  2. The UC Center of Excellence will review the Flight Request form. The Center may suggest changes to the proposed flight operations to bring the flight into compliance with Federal law and regulations or to make it consistent with best practices.
  3. The applicant must revise the Flight Request form to comply with the Center’s recommendations and resubmit the Flight Request to the Center for a final review.
  4. The Center will submit its recommendation to approve or deny the Flight Request application to the UCSB Police and the UCSB Risk Management office.
  5. The UCSB Police and Risk Management will review the Center’s recommendation and inform the Center of their decision to approve or deny the Flight Request application.
  6. The Center will inform the applicant that the Flight Request form has been approved or denied.
  7. If the Fight Request is approved, the applicant must comply with the Center’s final recommendations
  8. At the conclusion of the flight, the applicant must complete and submit a Flight Report form.

Registering Recreational Drones & Model Aircraft

All University-owned UAS and all non-University owned drones or model aircraft flown on the UCSB campus must be registered with the UC Center of Excellence.

  • Employees and students who want to fly a personally-owned recreational drone or model aircraft on the UCSB campus must register it with the UC Center of Excellence using the UC Drone Web App.
  • Non-employees and students must register non-University-owned drones with the UC Center of Excellence when they complete the Flight Request application form.

UC Drone Web App

The UC Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft System Safety has developed a UC Drone Web App to streamline the drone registration, flight approval, and flight reporting processes. The App is designed to be used by UC faculty, staff, and students when they fly personally-owned drones and model aircraft on campus. Go to https://ehs.ucop.edu/, sign in and select the Drone symbol. The App is not available to non-University employees and students. The App User Guide contains instructions on the use of the UC Drone Web App. The Web App has the following features:

MANAGE FLIGHT REQUESTS

  • Select pilot, aircraft, and location; submit flight request.
  • Add comments and attach supplementary files.
  • If flight operations change, edit flight request info and add documents.
  • Status of flight request communicated by email.

MANAGE FLIGHT REPORTS

  • Submit flight report without having to reenter previously entered info.
  • Log abnormal operations or incidents.
  • Log aircraft damage.
  • Reports for completed flights are maintained and can be viewed at any time.

MANAGE PILOT/CREW MEMBER REGISTRATION

  • Register with campus and input certificate and qualifications.
  • Update pilot registration.
  • Qualification standards are under development.
  • Crew management features will be added in a future release.

MANAGE AIRCRAFT

  • Register UAS to person/organization/department and track flight activity.

MANAGE BY WEB APP ADMINISTRATOR

  • Review, approve, or deny flight requests.
  • Register other people as pilots/crew members.
  • Add and manage aircraft.
  • Add comments or documents.

If you have any comments, questions or feature requests, you can submit them to the developers at erm@ucop.edu or to the Center at uassafety@ucmerced.edu.

Use of Recreational Drones on Campus

FAA regulations restrict the use of recreational drones and model aircraft within 5 nautical miles of the Santa Barbara Airport (which encompasses all of UCSB, Isla Vista, Goleta and parts of Santa Barbara (see FS: Exclusion Zone Around Airport).

The FAA and the Santa Barbara Airport have agreed to allow the use of drones on the UCSB campus as long as the drone operator’s proposed flight plan is approved as required above in the Approving Recreational Flights on Campus.

During the course of the approval process the UC Center of Excellence on Unmanned Aircraft System Safety, the UCSB Police, and the UCSB Risk Management Office will review the proposed UAS flight plan. The flight plan is subject to their approval and cannot proceed without it.

All on-campus drone flights are restricted to the area south of Campbell Hall and to the west of Steck Traffic Circle (see FS: Drone Operations on Campus) at a maximum altitude of 100 ft. AGL (due to the proximity of the airport).

The Santa Barbara Airport must be notified of all drone and model aircraft flights in advance The Airport also requires notification that a flight has concluded. The drone or model aircraft operator will be given the number to call at the Airport and the coordination procedures after the flight plan has been approved.