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Remote Pilot - Small UAS Study Guide
Remote Pilot - Small UAS Study Guide

​Drone/Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

The University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin System, regulates the operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for both recreational and educational purposes on all University properties. The University recognizes that the use of UAS devices (sometimes known as "drones,") has significant current and future academic applications, including flying to collect still or video imagery for commercial art or architectural models; performing biophysical analysis; monitoring crop or wildlife health, or to support forestry analysis and operations.

Innovative technology generally comes with public regulatory requirements for privacy, safety and security. The campus guidelines establish the minimal requirements for the safe operation of UAS and shall be a referenced for all students, staff, faculty and others interested in such activity on University property.

Although the Federal Aviation Administration identifies that individuals may operate unmanned aircrafts at educational institutions, as outlined in Education Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Memorandum, the following guidelines include minimal requirements outlined by the University of Wisconsin System.  

Scope of UW-Stevens Point Drone Policy

The policy applies to all members of the University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point community, including but not limited to University employees, students, clubs, organizations, vendors and any other individuals who may be operating a UAS as part of their employment, as part of any university-related research, instruction, or activity, or for hobby or recreational purposes on campus, to remain in compliance with UW System, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and State of Wisconsin laws. The policy also applies to any person or entity not affiliated with the University who may operate a UAS on or over university property or land and includes recreational and non-recreational aircraft. Any person operating a UAS on university land is personally liable and responsible for complying with FAA regulations, state and federal laws, and university policies, and may be subject to disciplinary action and enforcement.

 Non-UW Stevens Point Operators

Non-UW Stevens Point Operators wishing to operate a UAS on or over university owned property must contact Risk Management for approval. They also must provide proof of a CFR 14 Part 107 license as Remote Pilot Certificate or other proof of FAA approval. In addition, operation of a UAS by a non-UW Stevens Point operators over university property must be under a contract which holds and they must also provide the university with proper proof of insurance. The specific insurance requirements, including the amounts of insurance, are determined by the Office of Risk Management, and may vary depending on the nature of the proposed UAS operation. However, Risk Management prefers  aviation Liability Insurance-Limits no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence. Also, the Board of Regents of the UW System, its officers, employees, and agents need to be added as an additional insured. 


Signed agreement is required for non-UW Stevens Point operators which hold the university harmless from any resulting claims or harm to individuals and damage to university property in direct relation to the party’s flight operations and are part of pre-flight approval. UW-Stevens Point UAS-Operator Application Form should be filled and signed by non-UW Stevens Point operators and submitted to Risk Management Department.

 UW-Stevens Point Students and Employees



Students are not required to obtain a CFR 14 Part 107 license when flights are part of written curricular activity and performed under the direct and present supervision of staff or faculty with a license.

Students independent of classroom-approved activity and acting alone and members of student organizations are not covered under the State’s general liability policy and must fill UW-Stevens Point UAS-Operator Application Form and submit to Risk Management to obtain pre-flight approval. They also must provide proof of a CFR 14 Part 107 license as Remote Pilot Certificate or other proof of FAA approval. If a student approved to use her/his personally owned UAS for university business, the student’s personal insurance coverage is primary. The student must provide proof of insurance as required by the Risk Management.


Although FAA rules for educational institutions are less stringent, the UW System requires that any university employee who wishes to operate a UAS as part of their university employment or as part of a university program, related to or unrelated to coursework, must receive approval from the campus entity responsible for monitoring. UW-Stevens Point employees must provide proof of a CFR 14 Part 107 license as Remote Pilot Certificate or other proof of FAA approval. Employees wishing to fly will complete an UW-Stevens Point UAS-Operator Application Form and submit to the Risk Management to get an approval. Those wishing to fly must have experience in operating the UAS and operate them in a responsible and legal manner. They may also be asked to demonstrate the ability to safely pilot the UAS to be used.

University colleges and departments are encouraged to budget for the cost of a pilot’s license as it is necessary to academic advancement. A written knowledge test is required to obtain a license.

Check FAA website Becoming A Pilot page for more details.

Those wishing to fly a UAS indoors for educational use will work with Risk Management or the assigned campus entity to determine if an exemption is appropriate.


Those wishing to fly a UAS on non-UW-Stevens Point land for educational or research purposes must ensure to obtain written permission from the owner of any property that will be occupied or overflown during the flight. Property Owner Permission Form should be used to obtain property owner permission for UAS operations occurring on private property.


If an employee approved to use her/his personally owned UAS for university business, the employee’s personal insurance coverage is primary. The employee must provide proof of insurance as required by the Risk Management.


 Guidelines for Approval


  • The operator of any UAS (commercial or non-uwsp operators) must abide by all federal, state, and city laws.
  • UW-Stevens Point UAS-Operator Application Form  must be filled and signed by UWSP and non-UWSP operators.
  • All flights must be approved through the UW-Stevens Point Risk Management department and approvals may be requested by contacting the campus Director of Risk Management. A minimum of 72 hours advanced notice of flight is required for the approval process. Frequent fliers may request a waiver of this time limit to Risk Management.
  • Flight requests must clearly identify the area of flight and this must be approved by Risk Management.
  • If the university arranges for a contractor or a non-UWSP operator to use a UAS for purposes associated with a university facility, event, or project, the contractor must adhere to all FAA requirements and campus polices (including to submit UW-Stevens Point UAS-Operator Application Form) and provide the university with proper proof of insurance as required from the Risk Management Department and add the "Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System, its officers, employees and agents as an additional insured." (See Non-UWSP Operators section for more details.)

 UAS-Drone Technology Requirements


  • UAS may not exceed 55 lbs. in size and must have all manufacturer's specifications in operable condition.

  • UAS may contain wireless transmission capability and will be evaluated in the approval process to ensure safe access and use of UW-Stevens Point networks. This evaluation would be conducted by a representative from Information Technology or Risk Management, with consultation from UAS campus experts as needed. Areas that may be analyzed include drone security for prevention of hacking, the apps utilized when drone is in use, and the drone software.
  • UAS with digital photographic or video capture capabilities may be evaluated for feed or storage archival needs if University computer networks are required, particularly for live streaming events.
  • In accordance with IT purchasing requirements (under Information Technology website Computer and Software Purchasing page), any University employee, student, or business unit purchasing a UAS (or parts to assemble a UAS), or UAS services, with university funds or funds being disbursed through a university account, grant funds, or foundation funds must provide proof of a remote pilot certificate. The purchase request will be vetted for compliance. Employees may not utilize personally or externally purchased drones for ongoing teaching, or research purposes. Employees wishing to utilize personally purchased drones for one-time demonstration purposes should contact Risk Management for an exemption.
  • Any drones owned by the university must meet criteria for connectivity and data storage.
  • No university owned UAS shall be rented, leased or lent to a non-university party.

 Flight Regulations

  • All FAA regulations must be followed.
  • In 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.
  • A UAS should 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, campus daycare facilities, and health treatment rooms.

    Note: In Wisconsin, it is a misdemeanor for a private individual to use a drone to "photograph, record, or otherwise observe another individual in a place where the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy." (Wis. Stat. § 942.10).
  • A UAS should not be used to monitor or record sensitive institutional or personal information which may be found, for example, on an individual's workspace, on a computer or other electronic displays.
  • Operators should be mindful of the safety of people and risk of property damage and aware of potential failure modes for their systems. All built-in safety features should be tested before flying.
  • Operators must be in line of sight during operation over university lands and may not operate over any persons not directly participating in the operation.
  • It is highly recommended that all flights have a visual observer who is monitoring the UAS, in addition to the pilot.
  • In the event of an UAS accident requiring FAA reporting (serious injury to any person or loss of consciousness; or damage to any property other than the UAS with repair costs exceeding $500), fill UAS Accident / Incident Report and notify the university immediately.
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Image Resources: AUVSI,,, NoDronePSA