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Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems on University Campus and Property

Effective Date: January 2016


Policy Statement

The operation of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), a drone, is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  As a private institution, Columbia University establishes the following policy to govern the operation by any person of a UAS from or above the University's campuses or properties.  This policy extends to any and all property owned, rented, leased, and controlled by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York.


Reason(s) for the Policy

This policy is established to require and ensure compliance with ALL applicable laws, reduce safety risks, and preserve the security and privacy of members of the Columbia University community.



Primary Guidance to Which This Policy Responds

This policy primarily responds to FAA guidelines and requirements that promote the safe and responsible use of unmanned aircraft.


Responsible University Office & Officer 

Columbia University Facilities and Operations is responsible for establishing this policy.  The Department of Public Safety is responsible for enforcing the policy and the Vice President for Public Safety is the responsible officer.


Revision History 

Not applicable.


Who is Governed by This Policy 

All employees, students, contractors, volunteers, and the general public present on Columbia University property are governed by this policy.



Who Should Know This Policy 

Any person who may be involved in operating a UAS from or above the University's campuses or properties should know about this policy.



 Click on the link at the right to view the full policy