Drone Use Policy

Policy Statement

This policy sets forth the requirements for the use of any drone on any university owned or controlled property.

Reason for Policy

Johnson & Wales University seeks to ensure that drones are operated on university owned or controlled property only as permitted under the policy.  This is to help ensure safe and secure operation of drones, protect privacy interests, and comply with the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. 


Drone – An unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or unmanned aircraft vehicle (UAV) with no pilot on board, controlled by an operator on the ground or that flies autonomously based on pre-programmed flight plans or automation systems.


The university prohibits any hobbyist or recreational use of drones from or on any university owned or controlled property.

Anyone desiring to operate a drone for other purposes, such as educational or commercial purposes, must submit a written request to the applicable campus’s safety & security director and, if that director is not Providence campus’s safety & security director, a copy to the Providence campus’s safety & security director. In the case of a disagreement among directors, the Providence campus’s safety & security director shall be the final decision maker.

As a prerequisite to approval, any applicant must demonstrate, to the university’s satisfaction, that the proposed drone operator is appropriately licensed and has complied with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to FAA regulations governing the operation of drones (as a general matter, this means compliance with Title 14, Chapter I, Subchapter F, Part 107, known as Part 107 of the FAA Regulations). 

At minimum, the following information must be provided:

  • the purpose of the drone use
  • the date, time and area where operation is desired
  • if the operation is intended for an educational use, the applicable dean’s authorization of same
  • documentation establishing appropriate licensure and compliance with applicable FAA regulations and other applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

If approved, the drone operator will be responsible for ensuring compliance with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations, including but not limited to FAA regulations governing the operation of drones. 

The applicable campus safety & security director(s) shall have the full, unfettered right to reject any request in their sole discretion. The director(s) shall consider, among other things, whether the proposed use will be safe, secure and consistent with privacy interests of potentially affected individuals and whether the use may interfere with university operations and campus activities. The director(s) shall consult other stakeholders as appropriate, including the offices of Communications & Media Relations, Finance, and/or General Counsel, among others. The director(s) generally shall require, as a condition of allowing the drone operation, satisfaction of indemnification and insurance requirements, among other conditions.

As a general matter, the university shall not permit university employees or students to operate drones, but the president of the Providence Campus may make occasional exceptions for university employees based on the president’s considered judgment, in the president’s sole discretion, that an exception is in the university’s best interest.  Such exceptions shall be exceedingly rare and shall not be made unless the employee meets the other requirements articulated herein.

Those who violate this policy may be subject to the university disciplinary process (if they are university employees or students) and may be subject to civil or criminal federal, state and local laws. 


The non-exclusive resources any drone operator must consult include: