COVID-19 Updates for Unmanned Aircraft Research

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Office for Research Protections     |     Unmanned Aircraft Operations  


Due to the rapidly evolving circumstances regarding COVID-19, and the University’s focus on social distancing and the health and well-being of the community, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research has decided to suspend the use of unmanned aircraft for all non-essential research activities, including indoor and outdoor operations on or off of University-property. This directive applies to already approved UA authorizations to fly, as well as any new requests. Please speak with your Dean to determine whether your work may be deemed to be essential. Members of our research community who work at the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) should continue to follow ARL-specific guidelines. 

Effective April 23, 2020, pilots submitting a business flight request must confirm where the activity falls under the Industry Operational Guidance, otherwise, the flight will not be permitted at this time. Additional communications will be shared as updates to these restrictions become available. University policies and procedures, (SY45), continue to apply for requests that are permitted. A UA request to fly will need to be submitted and fully processed before operations may begin. Personally-owned UAs are not permitted to be used. If you do not have access to the building where the University-owned UA resides, you will need to work with your department to request access if the mission has been deemed essential and is allowed to be conducted.

 Learn more about COVID-19 updates related to UA activities. Additional information can be found on the ORP COVID-19 webpage.