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Drones - Unmanned Aircraft Systems


Brigham Young University–Hawaii (“BYU–Hawaii” or “university”) recognizes that the operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS” or “drones”) is popular for recreational, promotional, educational, and research purposes. This policy establishes minimal requirements for the safe operation of UAS over university property or by members of the BYU–Hawaii community for university-affiliated activities in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and state laws.


All operation and use of UAS anywhere in United States airspace by members of the BYU–Hawaii community for university-affiliated activities must comply with FAA regulations and local, state, and federal laws regarding use of civil UAS, that is, UAS used for non-recreational and non-public purposes.

Generally, hobby or recreational use of UAS over university property is not allowed except in designated areas (see Map) and must comply with FAA and State of Hawaii regulations.

Any person desiring to use UAS over university property other than in designated areas must first register their UAS with BYU–Hawaii Campus Safety & Security. Any person desiring to use UAS over non-university property for university purposes must also register their UAS with BYU–Hawaii Campus Safety & Security.

Any third party contracted to use a UAS over university property must register with BYU–Hawaii Campus Safety & Security, must provide proof of FAA certification for the use of his or her UAS, proof of insurance with general liability coverage of $2,000,000 per occurrence, and must provide contract language that holds the university harmless from any resulting claims or harm to individuals or property.

Users of UAS on university property must exercise extreme caution due to the university’s proximity to the Kahuku Health Center and the Kahuku Fire and Police Station helipads.

Exceptions to this policy may only be granted by the Director of Campus Safety & Security or the Vice President of Operations.


3.1 Definitions

Unmanned Aircraft Systems: The term “unmanned aircraft system” (commonly known as drones) means an aircraft (airplane or helicopter) without a pilot aboard and associated elements (including communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft) that are required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the national airspace system. (See FAA Authorization Act of 2018, §44801(12).)

3.2 Applicability

This policy applies to all individuals, whether affiliated with the university or not, including but not limited to employees, students, clubs, organizations, vendors, and any other individuals who desire to operate a UAS over university property and members of the BYU–Hawaii community using UAS for university-affiliated activities.
Improper use of UAS may result in violation of federal or state criminal laws. Users of UAS who violate this policy may be issued a notice of trespass by police or Campus Safety & Security personnel. Improper UAS use may also be a violation of university policy, subject to student or employee discipline.

3.3 Expectation of Privacy

UAS may not be used over areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy. UAS must remain at least 300 feet from any residence. Use of UAS to capture identifiable video or photos of persons is prohibited without their consent.


BYU–Hawaii Permit to Operate UAS
Map of Areas Permitting Recreational Drone Use


Policy Owner: Campus Safety & Security Director

Executive Sponsor: Operations Vice President

Approved by President’s Council: 01/27/2020

Modified: 10/26/2023

Last Review: 10/26/2023

Next Review: 09/14/2026

Full revision history maintained by the Office of Compliance & Ethics.