U of A Policy Restricts Drones and Model Aircraft on and Over Campus
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — In order to protect the safety, security and privacy of students, faculty, staff and campus visitors, University of Arkansas has adopted a new policy that prohibits the use of “Unmanned Aircraft Systems” – drones – or remote controlled model aircraft on U of A property or within the university’s air rights, without prior written approval. The restriction includes any equipment needed to operate the aircraft. The policy applies to privately owned craft as well as those owned by a business or non-profit organization.
Violations of the policy, which is a part of the campus facilities use policy, may result in a criminal trespass warning and possibly arrest for those who do not comply.
“Public safety is the primary purpose of this policy,” said University Police director Steve Gahagans. “Drones and model aircraft can be useful, even fun, but are also potentially dangerous – if they malfunction they could injure anyone on the ground. Beyond that there’s the potential that they could be intentionally used as weapons. And finally they could potentially be used to take video or still images that violate student or employee privacy. These are all extreme examples, but they must be taken seriously. The only real option for us is to restrict use in order to protect the people on our campus.”
The policy does permit use of an unmanned aircraft if approved in advance by the Provost and Vice Provost for Research and Economic Development, for use involving non-athletic venues; or by the Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics, for athletic-related venues. To receive approval, the aircraft would have to meet all federal certification requirements, federal and state laws, and any Federal Aviation Administration requirements.
The university policy asks anyone who sees a drone or model aircraft being operated on campus to report it to the University Police.
About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.
Mark Rushing, director of strategic communications
Steve Voorhies, manager, media relations
Editor-selected comments will be published below. No abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, spam or material of a similar nature will be considered for publication.comments powered by Disqus
The Arkansas Teacher Corps honored Fellows who completed their three-year teaching commitments in high-need schools in Arkansas at a celebration May 20 in Little Rock.
Jamie I. Baum, an assistant professor of nutrition in the Department of Food Science, will join key scientists at a workshop identifying research opportunities and gaps.
Military-friendly campus culture, academic quality and outcomes for veterans are key values in selecting the top 130 four-year institutions.
The State International Development Organizations has named Dan Hendrix, president and chief executive officer of the World Trade Center Arkansas as a new member of their leadership board.
The College of Education and Health Professions will have several new faces in administrative positions at the University of Arkansas, Dean Michael Miller announced.