Health & Safety

Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones) On and Off Carleton’s Campus

Policy Statement

This policy exists to ensure safe and proper operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, for the benefit of the Carleton community. The conditions outlined here are in addition to Federal or State requirements.

All UAS operation must be in compliance with FAA regulations and State of Minnesota regulations. In addition…

On-campus operations of a UAS:

  1. Must be conducted for purposes that benefits Carleton academics, public relations, communications, formally sanctioned programs, facilities or operations, or for Carleton endorsed commercial reasons. Recreational use of UAS is prohibited on Carleton property and in airspace over Carleton property.
  2. Must be conducted by or under the direct supervision of a pilot with a current FAA Remote Pilot’s Certificate. The certified pilot must either be Carleton faculty or professional staff or be under the direct supervision of Carleton faculty or professional staff.  UAS Northfield AirSpace map is available for your reference.   
  3. Requires that the certified pilot must serve as the Pilot in Command as defined by UAS Pilot Certification Standards
  4. Requires that Carleton owned UAS’ must be insured through Carleton’s Business Office.
  5. Requires that contractors or other third parties are hired or otherwise requested to use a UAS for purposes associated with a Carleton facility or event, the organizing department shall contact the Risk Manager to insure that the UAS owner and operator has adequate liability insurance and take the risk mitigation arrangements deemed appropriate.
  6. Requires the Pilot’s FAA license, FAA Drone Registration, and Certificate of Insurance must be on record with Carleton’s Risk Manager and the Security office prior to any flight.  (To ensure processing time, it is recommended that these documents be submitted no fewer than seven (7) days prior to the flight date).  Additionally, while operating the UAS on campus, all non-Carleton faculty/staff must be able to immediately produce the written approval from Carleton’s Risk Manager. The Permission Request and Document Submission Form is available here.
  7. Requires that all UAS pilots must have written permission from the Director of the associated Carleton department or location supervisor. For example: flying in Carleton’s arboretum must have written permission from the Director of the Arboretum; flights involving athletics would require permission from the Athletic Director. Additionally, Area Director or Location Supervisor is encouraged to defer to the Carleton’s Risk Manager if any request warrants additional review.
  8. Requires that any UAS flight must be preceded by notifying Campus Security with exact flight times and location. 
  9. Requires that any injuries or any damage to Carleton property that results from or is related to drone operation–no matter how minor–must be immediately reported to the Carleton Security office.
  10. Requires that operators, upon request, must be able to present written verification of permission to fly on campus from representatives of each of the following offices: Campus Security, Risk Management Office, & Supervisor of On-Campus Space.
  11. Requires that operators, upon request, must be able to present written verification of, an up-to-date Flight Log, Maintenance Schedule, and verification of inspection within last calendar year, upon request. Sample Flight Log Sample Maintenance Schedule

 Off-Campus Operations of a UAS:

This section applies to domestic and international drone flights by Carleton faculty or staff operating the UAS in any Carleton-related capacity.

  1. Pilor in Command must adhere to rules outlined for On-Campus operations of a UAS.
  2. Must be preceded by the Pilot in Command thoroughly reviewing all applicable laws and regulations for UAS operations at off-campus location.
  3. Must be preceded by Pilot in Command obtaining written permission from the appropriate off-campus property manager and/or local authorities, where applicable.

Prohibited Use

  1. Recreational use of UAS is prohibited on Carleton property.
  2. A UAS will not be used to monitor or record areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in accordance with accepted social norms. These areas include but are not limited to student housing, restrooms, locker rooms, changing or dressing rooms, or health treatment rooms. “Surreptitious intrusion” or use of an “observation device” may be prosecuted under Minnesota Statute 609.746 Interference with Privacy. Drone flights in close proximity to student housing must be preceded by notification to residents at least 24 hours in advance.
  3. Carleton strictly prohibits flying any UAS/Drone indoors.

If you suspect unauthorized drone use on campus, please contact security at x4444.

The College may, at its discretion, suspend any UAS activity deemed as dangerous, or otherwise interfering with, or interrupting the operations of the College. Should a discrepancy between College policy and FAA regulations exist, the more restrictive regulation will govern.  

This policy will be reviewed annually by the Business Office and Carleton’s FAA-certified UAS Pilots.

Last Reviewed: January, 2023 Business Office

Last Revised: February 3, 2021

For: Faculty, Staff, Students

Last Reviewed: September 8, 2023

Maintained by: Business Office