Safety & Risk Management

Guidelines for UASs Operated by Third Party Vendors

The University regularly contracts with third-party vendors who provide valuable services to the University. Third-party vendors contracted with the University should operate their UAS in accordance within the following guidelines while operating their UAS on or above University property

  1. Operator must comply with all applicable federal (FAA), state, and local laws, including, but not limited to:
    1. UAS must always be within the operator’s visual line-of-sight unaided by any device other than corrective lenses (i.e. binoculars, telescopes etc.).
    2. Register your UAS with the FAA prior to operating on, or above, University property if the UAS weighs more than 0.55 lbs.
    3. Pilots operating UAS for purposes of recording or transmitting visual images must take all reasonable measures to avoid violations of areas normally considered private.
    4. Ensure the UAS weigh less than 55 pounds if operating under Part 107.
    5. Do not interfere with any manned aircraft.
    6. Remain under 400 feet in elevation; or higher than any other maximum altitude restriction for the area in which the drone is flying.
    7. Do not be careless or reckless with your UAS. You could be fined by the FAA for endangering people, property, or other aircrafts.
    8. Do not operate the UAS over a group of people. Do not operate the UAS over any individual that is not directly participating in the operation of the UAS.

      View the FAA requirements and safe operation guidelines for full descriptions.
  2. UASs weighing 55lbs or more must apply for a Special Airworthiness Certificate (SAC)and a 333 Exemption prior to flying. UASs weighing less than 55lbs. must follow the FAA Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (Part 107) or conduct operations according to a current 333 exemption. Proof of SAC, COA, 333 Exemption or Remote Pilot in Command Certification (Part 107) must be submitted to the SUU Risk Management Office.
  3. Submit a detailed flight plan to SUU Risk Management Office prior to operating UAS on or above University property using SUU Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Use Application for UASs Operated by Third Party Vendors . After executing your flight plan, close it out by contacting the SUU Safety and Risk Management Director.
  4. Operations should not occur within 5 miles of an airport without prior approval from the airport. Because of the SUU campus proximity to an airport with high volumes of aircraft activity and instrument approach procedures, notification is required to the Cedar City Regional Airport at least one day prior to planned flight. The Cedar City Airport Manager, Jeremy Valgardson, can be reached at: (435)868-8759 or
  5. Part 107/Commercial operations must conform to an airspace waiver issued by the FAA or the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability program (LAANC) when operating in controlled airspace. Information about LAANC may be found online. Operators operating in accordance with LAANC must receive a FAA Controlled Airspace authorization through an approved LAANC provider prior to flying in any controlled airspace. The airspace surrounding the SUU campus and most of Cedar City, UT is controlled airspace and must follow these procedures.
  6. Provide the SUU Risk Management Office with proof of liability insurance covering Aviation & Drone use, by way of a certificate of insurance, of not less than $1 Million per occurrence and $3 Million Aggregate listing Southern Utah University as additionally insured.

    Submit a signed SUU Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Use Indemnification Agreement to the SUU Risk Management Office, which holds the University harmless from any resulting claims or harm to individuals and damage to property.
  7. Report all incidents, including near misses, as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) regulations require and to the SUU Risk Management Office. The operator must complete a University Injury Report in the event of injuries to any person or property damage. (Injury Report Form)
    1. According to the FAA, accidents resulting in serious injury to any person or any loss of consciousness, or damage to property, other than the UAS, if the cost to repair or replace is greater than $500 must be reported to the FAA within 10 days of the operation.
    2. According to the NTSB, Unmanned aircraft accident means an occurrence associated with the operation of any public or civil unmanned aircraft system that takes place between the time that the system is activated with the purpose of flight and the time that the system is deactivated at the conclusion of its mission, in which:
      1. Any person suffers death or serious injury; or
      2. The aircraft has a maximum gross takeoff weight of 300 pounds or greater and sustains substantial damage.

        Visi the NTSB reporting guidelines or the FAA accident reporting guidelines for more information.