Safety & Risk Management

Guidelines for University Owned UASs

Southern Utah University faculty, staff, or students operating University owned UAS should adhere to the following prior to operating UAS:

  1. Register the UAS with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Southern Utah University (SUU) Risk Management Office. UAS registration can be performed online through the FAADroneZone or by using the FAA Form 8050-1. The FAA Form 8050-1 and the SUU Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Use Application for University Owned UASs are available in the SUU Risk Management Office.
  2. SUU’s General Liability and Property insurance will cover qualified SUU owned and operated drones provided that the drone is registered with the SUU Risk Management Office. Please contact the SUU Risk Management Office to find out if your drone qualifies.
  3. Submit a detailed flight plan using the SUU Unmanned Aerial System (Drone) Use Application. The flight plan should include the UAS model, FAA registration information, University unit that owns the UAS and the primary contact person’s information.  Multiple flights per semester may be submitted on one flight plan.
  4. After executing your flight plan, close it out by contacting the SUU Safety and Risk Management Director and the FAA as appropriate.
  5. Operator must comply with all applicable federal (FAA), state, and local laws, including, but not limited to:
    1. UAS operation may involve one individual or a team of crew-members. The Remote Pilot in Command (“Remote PIC”) has the final authority and responsibility for the operation and safety of the UAS. A person who is not a Remote PIC may operate an UAS only under the direct supervision of the Remote PIC. The Remote PIC must be in close proximity to the operator in order to step-in and regain control of the UAS if necessary. A visual observer may be used as a flight crew-member to help see and avoid other objects in the sky or on the ground.
    2. An SUU Injury Report must be submitted to the Risk Management Office in the event of injuries to any person or property damage. (Injury Report Form)
    3. Depending on the circumstances, an accident report may have to be reported to the FAA and/or the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
      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.

          Read the NTSB reporting guidelines or the FAA accident reporting guidelines for more information.
    4. 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.).
    5. Ensure the UAS Weighs less than 55 pounds.
    6. Never interfere with any manned aircraft.
    7. Do not be careless or reckless with your UAS. You could be fined by the FAA for endangering people, property or other aircraft.
    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.
    9. Do not fly higher than 400 feet; or higher than any other maximum altitude restriction for the area in which the drone is flying.

      View the FAA requirements and safe operations guidelines for a full description.
  6. R6. Recreational or hobbyist operations should not occur within 5 miles of an airport without prior approval from the airport manager. 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
  7. 7Part 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.
  8. SUU Departments purchasing UAS must coordinate with SUU Risk Management prior to purchasing a UAS to ensure proper insurance coverage.
  9. Operation of a University owned UAS at an off-campus location is subject to all requirements/laws/policies of that location. It is also subject to the flight plan and other requirements contained within these guidelines.
  10. UAS must only be operated by a SUU employee/student employee as part of their employment or student as part of an academic/research program.
  11. UAS should only be operated by a person with a part 107 remote pilot certificate with a UAS rating or under the direct supervision of a Remote PIC who is certified under Part 107 and that person’s information should be included in the flight plan.  Please submit a copy of your Remote Pilot Certificate to the SUU Risk Management Office.
  12. A student who does not have a Remote Pilot Certificate, may operate an UAS for educational purposes as per the FAA’s educational allowance.

    However, a student may only operate an UAS under the direct supervision of an authorized Remote PIC. 
  13. Prior to operating a UAS on, or above, University property. Contact the SUU Scheduling office at (435)865-8100 to schedule your event.
  14. Pilots operating UAS for purposes of recording or transmitting visual images must take all reasonable measures to avoid violations of areas normally considered private.