Unmanned Aircraft System

When you fly a drone in the United States, it is your responsibility to understand and abide by the rules.

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as “drones,” may be used for a variety of purposes, including Public Uses, Civil Uses (such as research and instruction), and recreation. Using a UAS requires familiarity with various regulations, an understanding of the public’s privacy and safety concerns, and knowledge of how to operate a UAS.

This page contains basic resources for drone pilots and enthusiasts at VCU. Drones must be operated safely; in compliance with the applicable federal, state, and local regulations; and in compliance with VCU’s University Related Use of UAS Policy.

Internal VCU Requests

If faculty, staff or students of VCU need to use UAS on property owned or leased by VCU, then they must submit a completed form to the UAS Use Committee. The request will be reviewed and a determination made within 10 days. The UAS use request must provide all relevant information about the proposed flight(s).

Submit a UAS Request

Vendor/Contractor Requests

If third party vendors or contractors intend to fly UAS on property owned or leased by VCU, they must seek consent from Steven Kessinger, Director of Safety and Risk Management prior to the commencement of any flights. Required documentation will include but not limited to:

  • Map(s) illustrating location, boundary of flight(s), flight path(s) and designated take-off and landing points 
  • The number of visual observers and their positioning
  • Safe areas and measures to address areas of concern
  • UAS operator’s FAA authorization
  • Certificate of insurance naming VCU and the VCU Health System (*if applicable) as additional insureds

*For flights taking place on or near the MCV campus, the UAS Use Committee has developed Guidelines to assist UAS operators in developing a safety plan for maintaining safe flights. All flight plans in proximity VCU Health will address these guidelines. Flights originating on VCU Health property should be addressed to VCU Health for approval. Please see the campus map to determine applicability.