Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)
UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS REGULATIONS FAQ
When do I need to file a request to use UAS?
What types of flights are not allowed on campus?
- A UAS may not be used to monitor or record activities where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy on university property. Examples include, but are not limited to, restrooms, locker rooms, and residence halls.
- A UAS may not be flown in a Flight Restriction area on university property.
- Any operation endangering public safety.
FAA RULES FOR SMALL UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS
Which FAA Rules do I need to follow when flying UAS?
The following are two FAA rules that most UAS operations will fall under:
- Section 349 – Recreational or Modeler UAS activities: These UAS activities are conducted solely for fun and enjoyment and are unrelated to business, education, employment, extension, instruction, research, and student coursework activities. Recreational flyers must adhere to either Section 349 rules on the Exception for Limited Recreational Operation of UAS or Part 107 rules on Small UAS.
- Part 107 – Business, Education, Extension, Instruction, Student Coursework, Employment/Commercial, and Research UAS Activities: Persons may fly UAS under Part 107 rules for any reason, including: for work or business, instruction or student coursework, research, and fun and enjoyment.
What is Section 349 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 and what types of UAS operations does it encompass?
UAS flights are recreational when conducted solely for fun and when the UAS activities are unrelated to business, education, employment, extension, instruction, research, and student coursework.
Recreational/modeler UAS activities were previously exempt from many FAA rules affecting “commercial” UAS pilots, such as the aeronautical knowledge test requirement. Section 349 means the FAA has the right to regulate model aircraft, including recreational UAS. See FAA Highlights Changes for Recreational Drones for information about how these changes will affect recreational flyers.
How can recreational UAS flyers operate in controlled airspace?
Recreational flyers currently have two options to operate in controlled airspace:
- Fly under Part 107 rules. UAS pilots can fly under Part 107 rules for any reason, including for work or business, for instruction or schoolwork, fun in their backyard, research, or for public safety missions. Part 107 requires the UAS pilot to either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of a person who holds a remote pilot airman certificate with small UAS rating.
- Fly at FAA pre-approved fixed sites (commonly referred to as flying fields) established by an agreement with the FAA, as listed at http://udds-faa.opendata.arcgis.com/. The Recreational Flyer Fixed Sites are represented by blue dots on the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) facility map (UASFM). Operations at the FAA approved Recreational Flyer Fixed Sites are authorized up to the altitudes indicated on the UASFM.
Until further notice from the FAA, air traffic control facilities will no longer accept requests to operate recreational UAS in controlled airspace and recreational flyers should not contact local air traffic facilities for airspace authorizations.
Recreational flyers may continue to fly in uncontrolled airspace provided they meet the statutory conditions described in the Section 349 rules on the Exception for Limited Recreational Operation of UAS.
Does the FAA anticipate future changes affecting recreational UAS flyers?
The FAA has announced the following anticipated future changes affecting recreational UAS flyers:
- By the end of 2019, recreational flyers should be able to obtain authorization from the FAA to fly in controlled airspace through the online system LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability), which is currently available only to Part 107 certified remote pilots.
- Once a new aeronautical and safety test is developed and made available, recreational flyers will be required to pass the test and carry proof of test passage (or fly under Part 107 rules).
- The FAA will develop a process for recognizing community based UAS organizations and their safety guidelines for recreational flyers.
What is Part 107 and what types of UAS operations does it include?
Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations “Part 107” introduced a simpler and easier way to achieve authorization for UAS flights with a remote pilot certificate and simplified rules for operating an unmanned aircraft.
UAS pilots may fly under Part 107 rules for any reason, including: work or business, for instruction or schoolwork, fun in their backyard, research, or for public safety missions. Part 107 rules encompass business, education, employment, extension, instruction, research, and student coursework activities.
The remote pilot certificate replaces the need for an operator to have a private pilot’s license. Similar to a driver’s license, this license will require the applicant to pass a knowledge test and pass a security vetting. The cost of the test is $150.
The FAA provides a summary of the rule here.
Are certain educational UAS activities still exempt from Part 107 rules?
No. The FAA’s User Identification Tool now places these flight operations under Part 107 rules. Part 107 requires the UAS operator to either hold a remote pilot airman certificate with small UAS rating or be under the direct supervision of a person who holds a remote pilot airman certificate with small UAS rating.
I am an educator and wish for my students to fly UAS as part of a course. Will every student need to have a Part 107 remote pilot certificate?
No, however, every student who operates a UAS outdoors must be under the direct supervision of a person who holds a Part 107 remote pilot airman certificate with small UAS rating.
I don’t have a Part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate and want to fly UAS in controlled airspace now. What can I do?
- Fly under the direct supervision of a person who holds a Part 107 remote pilot airman certificate with small UAS rating, or
- Recreational flyers may fly at FAA pre-approved fixed sites (commonly referred to as flying fields) established by an agreement with the FAA, as listed at http://udds-faa.opendata.arcgis.com/. Operations at the listed fixed sites are authorized up to the altitudes indicated on the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) facility map (UASFM).
Once I am a remote pilot under Part 107 and have permission from ISU, can I fly on campus?
Not yet. In addition to having your Part 107 certificate and receiving permission from ISU, you must also receive authorization to operate in controlled airspace. The area around the Ames airport is Class E airspace to ground level. This authorization can be requested with near real-time airspace authorization through LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability) system. LAANC is currently available to Part 107 certified remote pilots only. The FAA plans to expand LAANC to recreational flyers by the end of 2019.
REMOTE PILOT CERTIFICATION
How do I get a Part 107 remote pilot certificate?
- You must pass an aeronautical knowledge test at a Knowledge Testing Center (there is one in Ankeny). To register for the exam, please call (844) 704-1487 (toll free). Cost is $150.
- Pass the aeronautical knowledge test.
- Fill out FAA Form 8710-13 for a remote pilot certificate using the electronic Integrated Airman Certificate and/or Rating Application system (IACRA).
- A confirmation email will be sent when you pass the TSA security check.
- A permanent remote pilot certificate will be sent via mail.
What is the Part 107 remote pilot exam like?
It is a 60-question multiple choice test with a single correct response. The topics are broken down as follows:
How can I prepare for the Part 107 remote pilot exam?
Do Part 107 rules apply to recreational/modeler UAS operations?
Recreational flyers must adhere to the statutory conditions to operate under the Exception for Limited Recreational Operation of Unmanned Aircraft or adhere to Part 107 rules. Additionally, ISU procedures require that you receive ISU permission (via UAS Request Form) before flying from ISU property and have insurance. Visit the FAA’s Recreational Flyers & Modeler Community-Based Organizations webpage for safety rules and guidelines that apply to recreational UAS operations and FAA Advisory Circular 91-57B “Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft.”
How do I know where it is OK to fly and where it is not OK to fly?
The FAA has developed a smartphone app called B4UFLY for UAS operators to know whether there are any restrictions or requirements where they want to fly. When flying on/over ISU property, you may only fly in the location listed on your flight approval.
Until the FAA expands its controlled airspace authorization system LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability) to include recreational flyers, FP&M can issue approvals to fly UAS from the ISU campus only to individuals possessing a Part 107 remote pilot airman certificate with small UAS rating.
Air traffic control facilities will no longer accept requests to operate recreational UAS in controlled airspace.
Can I fly a UAS over a football game or other event at Jack Trice Stadium?
The Federal Aviation Administration has classified airspace above Jack Trice Stadium as National Defense Airspace. A Temporary Flight Restriction is in effect one hour before scheduled start time and extends until an hour after the event ends. During this time, UAS are prohibited within three miles of Jack Trice Stadium.
Can students fly a UAS for part of a class curriculum?
Students may fly a UAS for part of a class curriculum under Part 107 rules, with prior ISU approval. This includes consultation on acceptable flying site locations and standard operating procedures. Part 107 certified remote pilots flying in controlled airspace must receive FAA authorization through the online system LAANC (Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability). Contact the Office of Research Integrity for more information.
Am I required to carry General Liability Insurance for UAS operations from ISU property?
Third-party contractors, non-ISU Commercial, recreational flyers, student club UAS activities, and privately-owned UAS flown from ISU property all require proof of General Liability Insurance as follows:
Third Party Contractors and Non-ISU Commercial UAS Operators
Owned Aircraft Liability: $2 million
Non–Owned Aircraft Liability: $2 million
Commercial General Liability: $1,000,000 per occurrence; $2,000,000 aggregate
- Policy shall name Iowa State University; Board of Regents, State of Iowa; and the State of Iowa as additional insureds.
- Insurance companies shall be licensed to do business in the State of Iowa and have a minimum AM Best Rating of A-VII.
- Certificates must be issued and on file prior to UAS operation on ISU property.
- The purchase of any policy or adding Iowa State as additional insured shall not limit the defense of governmental immunity.
Provide a certificate of insurance from your general liability insurance company (this may be your homeowners’ insurance carrier) showing that your policy applies to liabilities, in the amounts stated below, arising from the use of model/hobby aircraft:
Owned aircraft liability: $500,000
Non-Owned aircraft liability: $500,000
The certificate holder and additional insured must be:
Iowa State University; State of Iowa; Board of Regents, State of Iowa
c/o Office of Risk Management
3618 Administrative Services Building
Ames IA 50011-3618
Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recreational flyers may provide to the Office of Risk Management proof of coverage for at least $500,000 through the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) or similar organization.
If you have questions about whether specific UAS activities may be covered under ISU’s insurance, contact the Office of Risk Management: email@example.com.
The university reserves the right to modify these requirements based on its determination of risk.
If you want to fly or hire a vendor to fly an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operating from ISU property, whether indoors or outdoors, permission is required from ISU. UAS pilots must also comply with the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration. For more information, please visit ORI’s UAS webpage or contact us by email.