UAV Operations

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Arial view of campus

In the last several years, new and evolving technologies have seen the creation of a class of unmanned flying equipment generally known as “quad-copters”, “quad-rotors”, “drones”, “hex-rotors”, etc.  This equipment is more accurately described as “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” (UAVs) and the complete package (remote control, flight hardware, support equipment, etc.) is more formally known as “small Unmanned Aerial Systems” (sUAS).

With the recent proliferation of UAVs into the consumer market, nearly anyone can purchase and operate this equipment for business, education, and/or recreation.  This use versatility has proven a problem for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with coexisting in the National Aerospace System (NAS).  Essentially, operating any UAV translates to flying in the same space as aircraft as well as operating in the same space that is occupied by people, buildings, utilities, vehicles, trees, etc.

In order to operate UAVs safely, the FAA created a set of regulations that commercial (and university) UAV operators must be certified in – Part 107.  The primary purpose of this certification is to understand how to operate this equipment safely.  Additionally, the University has established its own rules governing UAV usage rules and the responsibilities you have as the operator/pilot of a University-owned UAV.

It cannot be over-stressed that operating this type of equipment is inherently dangerous.  It is the responsibility of everyone that is conducting UAV operations to follow all rules that was established by the FAA and rules established by the University.

Ultimately, safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Because of FAA regulations and University regulations regarding UAV operations, ALL recreational use of all classes of remotely piloted aircraft is prohibited on ALL SIU Carbondale property – inside or outside.

However, if an educational, research, outreach, or administrative opportunity arises that may  involve the use of UAV equipment; we are here to assist you in meeting your obligations to the University and to the FAA. 

SIUC’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems policy has been developed and implemented to protect the safety and privacy of faculty, staff, students, visitors, and the community; to protect University buildings and property; and address liability, insurance, and regulatory concerns while facilitating the use of UAS technology.  This Policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, University contractors and visitors.

Please feel free to email your questions or contact us at the number listed in the banner.  Please ask for the UAV Administrator or the UAV Operators.  We will be more than happy to help.  It is our goal to help you to achieve your UAV program and operate safely.

The SIU Carbondale campus has nearly 475 buildings / structures are located over approximately ten physical locations throughout the southern Illinois area.  Although most of the campus’s structures are located in what could be consider the main campus area, there are many other properties and structures located throughout the southern part of the state.  A substantial amount of these locations exists within the five-mile control boundary of several airports scatted throughout southern Illinois.