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Virginia Tech has implemented an Operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) policy that enables drone flights on campus or university-controlled property; it also covers operations of university-owned UAS and operations by Virginia Tech employees.

The policy facilitates the use of drones for research, education, and recreation and reduces risks to safety, security, privacy, and property. It also ensures compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and other federal and state laws. All university drone operators are responsible for reading, understanding, and abiding by the policy.

The Virginia Tech drone policy does permit drone flights on campus when the operation is approved in advance by the UAS Oversight Committee. The policy provides more detailed guidance, but in general, to receive approval, the operator must

  • Obtain a Part 107 FAA Remote Pilot Certificate.
  • Complete additional training required for flights at Virginia Tech; contact the UAS Safety Office for details.
  • Ensure that the aircraft meets all federal certification requirements.
  • Register the aircraft with Virginia Tech through the UAS Safety Office.

For operations that won’t meet these requirements, an alternative is to use the Virginia Tech Drone Park — students, faculty, staff, or university affiliates can safely operate UAS in that facility without the constraints of registrations, certifications, or extensive training.

To apply for permission to conduct your proposed flights, fill out the online application or contact the UAS Safety Office.

Violations of the policy may be addressed with legal or university disciplinary actions as appropriate.

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