Unmanned Aerial Systems

Drones, unmanned aerial systems (UAS), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) – all different names for the same technology and aircraft that are operated from the ground.

With the popularity of UAS, the FAA has issued guidelines for safe operation, and Texas A&M University has initiated a program to ensure compliance with the applicable rules and regulations.

To fly UAS for educational purposes, faculty members will be given an expedited review by the Supervising Authority. Contact EHS to initiate a request for educational use of a UAS.

UAS Rules

Most flights on Texas A&M's campus will fall under Part 107 of the FAA rules, which include:

  • Pilot requirements

    • Must have a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate

    • Must be at least 16 years old

    • Must pass TSA vetting

  • Aircraft requirements

    • Must be less than 55 pounds

    • Must be registered if over 0.55 pounds (access online registration)

    • Must undergo pre-flight check to ensure UAS is in condition for safe operation

  • Location requirements

    • Class G airspace (note: most of Texas A&M’s campus is in Class D airspace, so any unmanned flights must be approved in advance by the FAA.)

  • Operating rules

    • Must keep the aircraft in sight (visual line-of-sight)

    • Must fly under 400 feet

    • Must fly during the day

    • Must fly at or below 100 mph

    • Must yield right of way to manned aircraft

    • Must NOT fly over people

    • Must NOT fly from a moving vehicle

If any Part 107 rules cannot be met by the pilot in command, the FAA will allow you to request a waiver. This waiver must be granted by the FAA before Texas A&M will allow you to operate a UAS on campus. Request a waiver from Part 107 rules.

To request permission to fly a UAS on campus (or to hire a third party to fly a UAS on campus), complete the UAS Flight Authorization Application: Enter A UAS Flight Request.  

UAS Flight Authorization Application

After the Supervising Authority has reviewed the application and determined that flights can be conducted safely, the pilot in command will be given permission to fly in accordance with the details on the application.

Contact Information

David Breeding

Blanket Request

Request A Blanket Flight Plan Approval

Blanket Flight Plans can approve multiple flights for a period of up to 1 year.

UAS Portals

UAS Portal

University Police Department UAS Portal