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Unmanned Aircraft Operations


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      Unmanned Aircraft Operations @ SFU

    • Unmanned Aircraft Operations @ SFU

  • Saint Francis University sUAS Operations

    Anyone wishing to operate drones (also known as small unmanned aircraft systems or sUAS) on Saint Francis University property or as part of a Saint Francis University sponsored activity must go through the proper channels to request approval. sUAS operations are not permitted until approval is granted by UAS Operations Manager (mstrom@francis.edu | 814-472-3934). 


  • Getting Started

    Indoor and outdoor flights on Saint Francis University property or as part of a Saint Francis University sponsored activity must submit a request to fly and go through the proper approval process. This includes, but is not limited to, flight connected to research, teaching, and marketing, as well as recreational purposes and student activities. Here are a few steps on how to get started. For more in-depth instructions, review the UAS Operations Manual, Post-Mishap Plan, Restricted Areas Map, and the SFU UAS Policy.

    All flights conducted in restricted areas (see Restricted Areas Map) must have completed an SFU Restricted Flight Planning document.  This document must be submitted as part of the preflight notification process.

    Step 1: Register

    Register your sUAS with Saint Francis University, utilizing the form at the following link: https://forms.gle/BDBiKErkBBVqyb9X7.  After your registration is processed, you will be supplied with a registration number to place on your aircraft in an externally visible location.

    Third parties should follow their own company rules on registering their sUAS and follow the Part 107 regulations concerning registration.  Third parties should be in communication with the University Business Office to coordinate flight activities, insurance coverage, etc.

    Step 2: Train (SFU Students/Faculty/Staff only)

    Complete the UAS Compliance Quiz at the following link: https://forms.gle/opFqN5WcXR2nrXsY8.  Be sure to review the UAS Operations Manual, UAS Policy, Post-Mishap Plan, and Restricted Area Map prior to completing the quiz.  No flight operations are permitted prior to successful completion of the Compliance Quiz. The quiz is graded pass/fail, where only a perfect score is considered to be passing. 

    NOTICE: The FAA recently published a revision to its rules concerning recreational use of UAS, which can be found here: https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/. This will require recreational users to pass an FAA approved knowledge test, separate from the compliance quiz required by SFU.  While not yet released, this test should be anticipated in the near future.  This FAA test must be completed prior to completion of the UAS Compliance Quiz.

     

    Step 3: Collect 

    Collecting other documents that will be needed for the sUAS flight approval process, before submitting a flight notification (as described in Step 4).  All flights conducted in restricted areas (see Restricted Areas Map) or conducted by third parties must have an associated SFU Restricted Flight Planning document completed prior to takeoff.  This document must be submitted as part of the preflight notification process.

    If you are not flying for recreational purposes (as defined by 14 CFR 107 and 14 CFR 101), you must be in possession of a valid license for sUAS operations as defined by 14 CFR 107.

     

    Step 4: Submit

    Submit a flight notification via the following link:  https://forms.gle/k4V9vZjxVusGN9MB6.  This notification must be sent prior to any on/off-campus flight activity and instantly notifies Campus Police and the UAS Operations Manager of a given flight activity.  Once a valid notification is submitted, you may commence with flight operations unless permission is revoked by Campus Police or the UAS Operations Manager.

     

    Preflight Notification
    Policy and Standard Operating Procedure

    All major documentation concerning sUAS operations at Saint Francis University are as follows.  Please direct any questions concerning these documents to the UAS Operations Manager (Br. Marius Strom | mstrom@francis.edu | 814-472-3934) or the Office of Student Development (Lynne Banks | lbanks@francis.edu | 814-472-3002).

     

    External Resources

    While guidance on UAS operations at SFU is considered comprehensive, it is, naturally, dependent on rules published by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Resources concerning those rules, the structure of the National Airspace System, and more are listed below for the reference of owners and operators and UAS at SFU.