D21: Drone Usage Policy

Responsibility for Maintenance:  Campus Safety & Security; Enrollment Management; Academic Affairs

Date of most recent changes: June 15, 2020

I. Policy Statement

Onondaga Community College (OCC) reserves the right to manage the use of drones on College property in conjunction with FAA airspace regulations and restrictions and to establish the qualifications for launching, landing and operating an unmanned aerial system (UAS) - often called a "drone" within it. 

II. Reason for Policy

The operation of a UAS within the college airspace or within campus buildings may raise issues related to safety, security or privacy. This policy is intended to ensure that at no time may a drone be used to violate reasonable privacy expectations of the campus community or compromise its safety.  

III. Applicability of Policy

This policy applies to all employees, students and visitors of the College.

IV. Related Documents

Federal Aviation Administration regulations for the operation and certification of small, unmanned aircraft systems 

Drone Flight Request Form

V. Contacts

Subject Office Name Title or Position Telephone Number Email
Insurance Coverage Management Services Assistant Vice President (315) 498-2566 mcmullem@sunyocc.edu
Consent to operate UAS within college airspace Campus Safety and Security Director (315) 498-2478 j.h.peckins@sunyocc.edu
Consultation to Campus Safety and Security in consent to operate UAS within college airspace Academic Affairs Provost and Senior Vice President (315) 498-6042 provost@sunyocc.edu
Consultation to Campus Safety and Security in consent to operate UAS within college airspace Enrollment Management Vice President, Enrollment Management (315) 498-2220 gaffneys@sunyocc.edu


V1. Definitions

College airspace The atmosphere and everything within it that is above College real property extending upward from the ground to 400 feet above ground level.
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Any mechanized flying machine that does not carry a person and is operated remotely.


VII. Procedures

Any person seeking to fly a UAS within college airspace or facilities must complete the Drone Flight Request Form and includes the following information:

  • Identification of the UAS;
  • Name of and contact information for the UAS operator;
  • A copy of the Remote Pilot Certificate of the UAS operator, if required by the FAA;
  • Proposed location of the operator during the flight;
  • Purpose of the flight, e.g., engineering analysis, mapping, public relations, academic research, pilot training, hardware/software testing, preventive maintenance, and non-image-based data acquisition;
  • Scheduled date and time of the flight
  • Duration of the flight; and
  • Geographic range of the flight.

The Director of Campus Safety and Security, in consultation with Enrollment Management and Academic Affairs as appropriate, will determine whether to grant consent and respond in writing within 30 business days of receipt of such requests.

Faculty members seeking to fly a drone for approved academic purposes may request that consent be granted for the entire semester (or term), subject to notification of Campus Safety and Security at least one College business day prior to each flight.

Approved by OCC Board of Trustees January 22, 2019

Updated and approved by the President June 15, 2020

Updated and approved by the President June 26, 2023