Reminder: Drone Operations Require Approval

Image of drone

Office for Research Protections     |    Unmanned Air Systems

As a friendly reminder, all drone operations on University property or for a University-affiliated activity must go through the request to fly process and gain permission through the Office for Research Protections (ORP) first. Refer to University policy SY45 Use of Unmanned Aircraft. This applies to Penn State students, faculty, staff and third parties.    

Examples of operations that require approval include, but are not limited to:   

  • Indoor flights  
  • Outdoor flights   
  • Research flights (flying for research purposes)  
  • Promotional flights (flying to capture footage for promotional materials)   
  • Drones used in the classroom (as part of a curriculum, even if only flying a short period of time)  
  • Third party flights (contractor or other third parties flying)   
  • Flights conducted off-site for University-affiliated activities (even if out of country)  

Important Note: At this time, hobbyist flights are not permitted.  

How to Request Approval:   

Follow the steps located at or contact the ORP directly at:     

Learn More:  

Our website provides more information on drone use at Penn State, includes steps to request approval, relevant policies, and recent updates: