Unmanned Aircraft Systems (Drones)

The use of unmanned aircraft systems, drones and other model aircraft over MU property is subject to the following MU policy, which is derived from UM System Policy 13104, https://www.umsystem.edu/ums/policies/general_administration/model_aircraft

Examples of activities intended to be covered by this policy include but are not limited to the following:

  • MU employees and students operating unmanned aircraft systems in any location as part of their MU employment or as part of MU activities,
  • The operation by any person of unmanned aircraft system or model aircraft originating from MU property, and
  • The hiring for or contracting for any unmanned aircraft services by an MU unit for use over MU property.

Policy Statement

The use of unmanned aircraft systems (commonly referred to as drones), as well as other remotely operated model aircraft (together referred to as “UAS” or “UAS’s”) pose inherent risks to the health, security, and privacy of the University community and individuals in the surrounding community. Therefore, the recreational use of UAS is prohibited on all property owned or controlled by the University and during University sponsored events without prior authorization.

Faculty, staff, students, and outside requestors seeking to use a UAS on University property or for research, instruction, marketing, or other University purpose must submit an application for UAS use. Applicants must satisfy all Federal Aviation Administration requirements and applicable laws or regulations, including the necessary pilot certification prior to UAS use. Requestor must obtain a University UAS permit and observe FAA rules and restrictions.

Requests for UAS use on MU property will be approved by Environmental Health & Safety for flights over the main, contiguous campus and by the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources for flights over our research farms and MU Extension properties. Upon approval of the use of UAS, the applicant will collaborate with MU to provide notice to any parties who may be affected by the use of UAS. This notice must include the time, place, and purpose of the use of UAS.

The applicant granted approval for use is responsible for any damage resulting from the use of UAS on MU property. If the applicant is an MU employee/department using a third-party contractor to operate UAS, liability for damage must be otherwise assigned contractually to this third party. Damage to University property or injury to an individual(s).

Request Procedures

Complete the appropriate request form (instructions are included on page three of the form) which is linked from the bottom of this page. The form must include the type/model & serial number of the UAS and the FAA registration number of the UAS. A copy of your FAA-issued Remote Pilot In Command license is also required.

For UAS not-owned by MU and/or piloted by a non-MU faculty, staff or student, you must also provide a certificate of insurance (minimum $1,000,000) that specifically names “Curators of the University of Missouri” as additionally insured.

Operating Procedures for Approved Flights

For one-time approvals:

Notification of your flight will be sent to various parties, including MU Health Care. IMPORTANT UPDATE - DIFFERS FROM THE FORM: Effective immediately, all UAS flights on the main, contiguous campus, must notify Air Evac Communication Center at 844-682-2734 immediately before takeoff and again immediately upon landing.

For users with blanket approvals (which are only available after approval of several individual flights):

NEW REQUIREMENTS - DIFFERS FROM THE FORM INSTRUCTIONS: You must email the details of your planned flight to all designated individuals (see the form instructions) at least 72 hours prior to your planned flight. Additionally, you must notify Air Evac Communication Center at 844-682-2734 immediately before takeoff and again immediately upon landing.

Users with blanket approvals performing test flights (as defined below) are exempt from notification requirements when all of the following are met:

Test flights are very low level flights that allow the tweaking of settings to achieve a desired result. Such test flights are exempt from notification requirements only when all three of the following criteria are met:

  • Test flight will not exceed 10 feet.
  • Test flight will not exceed 10 minutes.
  • Test flight is more than 2000 feet from the University Hospital and Women's Hospital helipads.


Link to MU form

Link to CAFRN form