Faculty Senate discusses drone use
If a University of Idaho affiliate is planning on flying a drone on campus, proper authorization is required before taking flight.
UI has two policies in place prohibiting the use of drones on campus, unless they are properly reviewed to comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.
Jack McIver, vice president of Research and Economic Development, said although there are many educational uses for unmanned aircrafts, the FAA has set limitations.
“Nobody on behalf of the university can fly, or use these things, or contract with someone (without prior approval),” McIver said.
With prior approval, UI can contract out to companies with authorization and licensed pilots to use drones for educational purposes.
McIver said a committee will be formed to review requests and he would make final authorization decisions.
The policy also prohibits drones that take off outside campus grounds and fly over UI property. Flying in spaces such as the Kibbie Dome would not fall under this policy, McIver said, but might require separate
Marty Ytreberg, Faculty Senate chair, questioned the prohibition of model airplanes.
“I don’t like the idea of taking away the ability for someone to do their hobby,” Ytreberg said.
He posed the idea of having a designated space for hobbies, such as flying model airplanes.
McIver said it is a safety issue. Although there haven’t been any incidences on UI’s campus, there have been at other institutions, he said.
Liz Brandt, Faculty Senate member from the College of Law, said she had concerns about allowing model airplanes on campus.
She said the only difference between model airplanes and drones is the camera.
“I think we need to think about the line drawings,” Brandt said.