During the development of a campus policy and procedure for the use of drones (unmanned aircraft systems) by faculty, staff, students, and other affiliates, please follow the interim process described below.

Federal and state law applies, regardless of the absence of a campus policy.  


Apply for Operation

Please download, complete, and email the Interim Flight Operation Proposal to research@csus.edu. A review will be conducted by Risk Management and ORIED, and approval must be received prior to drone operation.

Interim Flight Operation Proposal Form


Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 

The United States has the safest and most complex airspace in the world. The FAA has authority over this airspace from the ground up, and is responsible for making sure air traffic flies smoothly and efficiently. Anyone operating a UAS (drone) is responsible for flying within FAA guidelines and regulations.


Work Related Use

Anyone affiliated with Sacramento State (students, staff, faculty, etc.) who would like to fly a drone for work-related purposes on or off campus must follow the small UAS Rule (Part 107) and submit an application for review and approval prior to operation: https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/part_107/.

Examples of Work Use:

  • Research or scholarly activity,
  • Facilities inspections,
  • Recording practice for athletics,
  • Filiming or photography for Sacramento State public relations, Sacramento State owned social media accounts, websites, etc.

Please contact leah.vargas@csus.edu if you have questions regarding your proposed drone use. 


Hobby and Recreational Use

The FAA regulations are under constant revision for hobby and recreational use. It is the responsibility of the operator to know and comply with these rules: https://www.faa.gov/uas/getting_started/model_aircraft/. Operators should be aware of where it is and is not safe to fly: https://www.faa.gov/uas/where_to_fly/b4ufly/.

Presently, the Sacramento State campus has not provided any official approval to allow hobbyists on campus to fly a drone.


A draft policy and procedure is currently in review by several offices that will have oversight of, or be directly affected by, drone use on and off campus. It is anticipated that the next level of review will occur in March.

California Laws:


State Parks:


Local Parks:

On May 19, 2015, the CSU Chancellor's Office issued a memorandum recommending that each CSU develop an internal process that includes an evaluation board for covering drone operations to ensure full compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations. 

This memo was updated on August 19, 2016 prior to FAA's implementation of the new small UAS rule (Part 107) to "repeat and re-emphasize the need for campuses to have in place a review process and associated policies covering UAS operations."