Drone Policy


This policy is approved by the Chief Information Officer.


To define the requirements for the use of Drones, also known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and/or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), in compliance with the FAA and all applicable federal, state and local law, on or in the vicinity of College owned or controlled property.


1. Scope

The scope of this policy applies to, but may not be limited to, the operation of Drones, UAVs, or UASs on Bowdoin College property, College controlled property, or College affiliated events held elsewhere.

2. Definitions

Drones, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs), are defined as any contrivance, used or designed to navigate, or fly in the air that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.  Drones are less than 55lbs; if over 0.55lbs they are registered with the FAA, if used for commercial purposes. 

3. Roles and Responsibilities

Operating a Drone

Recreational and Hobbyist Use

Recreational / Hobbyist Drone flight is not permitted from campus property by either Bowdoin community members (Student/Faculty/Staff) or the general public – either indoors or outdoors.

Research, Academic or Commercial Use

Anyone wishing to fly a UAV on campus property for research, curricular needs, or communications needs must:

  1. Follow all FAA regulations and Safety Guidelines for Drone flight, including, but not limited to:
    1. Fly at or below 400 feet and stay away from surrounding obstacles
    2. Keep your Drone within sight
    3. Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports (Note: The Bowdoin campus is located next to an airport, and the entire campus is in FAA regulated airspace)
    4. Never fly over groups of people
    5. Never fly over stadiums or sports events
    6. Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fire
    7. Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol
    8. Understand airspace restrictions and requirements
    9. Anyone operating the flight controls of a UAV/Drone/sUAS shall wear a brightly colored and reflective vest during flight operations. The vest should have wording on the back identifying the individual as the remote pilot, visual observer, or other person involved in the sUAS operation. (FAA link)

      See https://www.faa.gov/uas/ for more details
  2. Coordinate the flight with Bowdoin College Academic Technology & Consulting (AT&C) at least two working days before your planned flight.  AT&C will:
    1. Secure clearance from the Brunswick Executive Airport
    2. Notify Bowdoin Security Office prior to the flight
    3. Coordinate having a Pilot in Command (PIC) available, if needed

      AT&C contact: David Israel - disrael@bowdoin.edu - 207-725-3139
  3. Anyone flying a drone for Bowdoin business (including academic courses) must have a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate, or have someone present with this Certificate, acting as the Pilot in Command (PIC).

    Additional information may be found at https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/fly_for_work_business/becoming_a_pilot/


Effective Date

April 9, 2019
Review Frequency Annual
Responsible Officer Chief Information Officer


Article ID: 75723
Tue 4/9/19 12:14 PM
Fri 9/2/22 10:01 AM