Purpose, Goals, Scope, and Implementation
Rapid advances in technology provide opportunities for the use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also called unmanned aerial vehicles or "drones," as a tool for education, research, and outreach. All aircraft operating in the National Airspace System must follow Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations. The purpose of this policy is to provide clarity and a framework for UAS operations on the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and Nebraska Medicine campus.
The goals of this policy are to support the use of UAS in education, research, and outreach within current laws and rules; protect the safety of the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine community; and ensure appropriate oversight for risk management of UAS operations on campus.
- UNMC/Nebraska Medicine faculty, staff, students, and individuals operating UAS as part of UNMC/Nebraska Medicine activities at any location;
- Individuals operating UAS purchased with funding through UNMC/Nebraska Medicine;
- Individuals hired to perform services involving operation of UAS for UNMC/Nebraska Medicine;
- Individuals operating UAS for commercial/business use and/or non-University purposes on or above UNMC/Nebraska Medicine property; and
- This policy does not cover the use of unmanned aircraft operated by local, state and federal governmental agencies for official business.
The Chancellor and Vice Chancellors have worked with personnel in Academic Affairs; Business and Finance; Research; Risk Management; Safety, or Security; and other areas to develop procedures to implement this policy, including additional restrictions, for UAS operations on or above UNMC- or Nebraska Medicine-owned or controlled property.
Requirements for UAS Operations
UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Activities or Purchased with UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Funds
UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Faculty, Staff, Students, and Individuals Operating UAS as Part of UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Activities or Purchased with UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Funds: Prior to operating UAS or seeking any required FAA authorization to operate UAS as part of UNMC activities at any location, the principal investigator/project leader must complete and submit required information to the designated campus authority and receive approval for each project. Operators must also follow the general requirements set forth in this section.
Requirements When Above UNMC Property
Individuals Conducting Services Involving the Operation of UAS for UNMC or Nebraska Medicine or Operating UAS for Commercial/Business Use and/or Non-University Purposes on or above UNMC/Nebraska Medicine Property: Individuals conducting services involving the operation of UAS for UNMC/Nebraska Medicine or operating UAS for commercial/business use and/or non-University purposes on or above UNMC property must complete and submit required information to the designated campus authority and receive approval prior to such proposed UAS operations. Prior to these operations, the individuals must also provide credentials and a certificate of insurance that shows adequate UAS liability insurance coverage and names the Board of Regents of the University as an additional insured. Additionally, operators must follow the general requirements set forth in this section.
- UAS Operations Form
- Submit completed UAS Operations Form (to be completed by every operator for every project). The form must be submitted prior to operation of any unmanned aircraft on the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus or properties to:
General Requirements for UAS Operations
- UAS operators must follow federal and state laws, FAA rules and regulations, and UNMC and Nebraska Medicine policies.
- If the FAA requires authorization to operate UAS, all operators must obtain the applicable FAA authorization through an appropriate FAA designated method, such as a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA), Section 333 Exemption, or Special Airworthiness Certificate (SAC). The operator must provide evidence of such authorization to the designated campus authority.
- UAS operations outside the United States as part of UNMC activities require export controls review.
- If the UAS is involved in an accident causing injury to a person or property, the operator must report the accident immediately, but no more than two University business days, to the designated campus authority.
Operating UAS for Hobby or Recreation at the University
Hobby or recreational use of unmanned aircraft is forbidden on the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus due to the helipads and the proximity to Eppley Airfield.
Prohibited UAS Operations
- UAS operations as part of UNMC/Nebraska Medicine activities without submission of the required information and approval by the designated campus authority are prohibited.
- UAS outdoor or indoor operations on or above the University that create undue hazard to the university community or the public are prohibited.
- UAS operations on or above UNMC/Nebraska Medicine that monitor or record sensitive institutional or personal information are prohibited. Prohibited areas include, but are not limited to an individual's workspace or computer; restrooms; changing, dressing, or locker rooms; residential rooms, hallways, or lounges; health treatment rooms; or daycare facilities.
Penalties for Violation of Policy
- Any violations of University of Nebraska/UNMC/Nebraska Medicine policies or student codes of conduct by an individual will be administered in accordance with applicable University of Nebraska/UNMC/Nebraska Medicine policies and procedures.
- Individuals who violate this policy may be subject to civil or criminal penalties and the seizure of UAS by UNMC Public Safety.
- Fines, damages, and claims against individuals who violate this policy may be the responsibility of that individual.
- Unmanned aircraft operators need to notify Eppley Operations Center at 402-661-8070 prior to any planned UAS operations. While the operations center will not actually approve the operation, they have the authority to deny it. If they do not deny the flight, unmanned aircraft operations may proceed after approval by the designated campus authority.
- Operations within a five (5) mile radius of Eppley Airfield, in which the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus sits, cannot exceed 400 feet above ground level.
- For all approved UAS operations on the UNMC/Nebraska Medicine campus, consideration should be given to notifying occupants (administrators, managers, leaders) within adjacent buildings as well as Patient Relations, Public Relations and/or Media Relations, as appropriate, so that UAS operations do not cause undue concern for staff, patients, or students.
- Contact UNMC Environmental Health and Safety, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance, UNMC or Transportation Risk & Claims Management Manager, Safety & Risk Management, Nebraska Medicine
- Executive Memorandum 31, University of Nebraska Policy on Unmanned Aircraft Systems
- UAS Operations Form
Policy No.: 2017
Effective Date: 10/02/17