University officials are working to determine the feasibility and identification of a designated space. Until such time, recreational and hobby use is prohibited on University property.

Southeast Missouri State University establishes the following guidelines to govern the operation by any person of a small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) on or above a Southeast Missouri State University campus or University properties. These guidelines are established to support the use of UAS in ways that ensure the safety and protect the privacy of all members of the University community and promote compliance with all applicable federal and state laws. These guidelines cover the Southeast Missouri State University campus and related facilities in Cape Girardeau; the River Campus; Regional Campuses in Sikeston, Kennett, and Malden; the David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center, and all other University owned properties. 

Southeast Missouri State University, consistent with the regulations and guidance from the Federal Aviation Administration, allows the operation of a UAS on or above University property for permitted University Operations (e.g. marketing, athletics, etc.), educational and recreational purposes (for which a Section 107 Remote Pilot in Command Certification is optional) and research or UAS-dedicated curriculum purposes (for which a Section 107 Remote Pilot In Command Certification is mandatory) provided that all operations are in compliance with the following guidelines: 

  1. The operation of the UAS is to support University Operations (e.g. marketing, athletics, etc.), and is a component of research, science, technology, communication, art, or related coursework at Southeast; or
  2. Recreational and hobby use is conducted at the designated location for UAS operation at Southeast Missouri State University. The University reserves the right to restrict use to Southeast-affiliated persons. 

Insurance coverage can be obtained through the carrier of one’s choice. An inexpensive resource for UAS insurance coverage is the Academy of Model Aeronautics which includes insurance coverage as a membership benefit. 

Absent a Part 107 Waiver, operation of the UAS aircraft must adhere to these restrictions: 

  • Flights must be below 400 feet and clear of surrounding obstacles. 
  • Flights may not exceed 100 mph. 
  • UAS must be in visual sight of its operator at all times. 
  • UAS may not operate over any persons not participating in the operation or in a building or other covered structure. 
    This restriction does not apply to UAS operations in secured UAS research and development areas. 
  • UAS must remain clear of all manned aircraft operations. Note: Mercy Hospital Southeast has frequent medical helicopter flights coming and going, and all UAS operations must not be in proximity to or interfere with medical helicopter flights. 
    If the approved UAS flight is taking place on or near Southeast Missouri State University owned/controlled property the following airport contacts should be used: Cape Girardeau ATC: (573) 334-3843, Kennett Airport: (573) 888-1339, Malden Airport: 573-776-4406, Sikeston Airport: (573) 471-2037, Mercy Hospital Southeast Heliport (573) 331-6620. It is the operator’s responsibility to fully research all airports within a five-mile proximity of the UAS operation and contact those as are necessary. 
  • Anyone intending to operate a UAS at Southeast Missouri State University must complete and submit the Request Permission to Fly form at least two weeks before their proposed flight. A copy of the approved Permission to fly Form will need to be kept on site with the operator during the UAS operation. 
  • No flights are allowed in proximity of large gatherings of people or sporting events. 
  • Per FAA Part 107, flights are allowed starting 30 minutes before official sunrise and 30 minutes after official sunset with appropriate anti-collision lighting. 
  • UAS must weigh less than 55 pounds. 
  • No reckless operation. 
  • UAS may not be used to photograph, video, record, or monitor areas or locations where members of the University community or members of the general public would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. 
  • The operator must safely ground and suspend operations of any UAS when ordered by a University Police Officer or public safety official. 
  • UAS use must comply with all federal, state, and local laws and guidelines. 
  • The operator of a UAS weighing between .55 to 55 pounds must register the UAS with the FAA. 
  • Information on FAA rules and online registration can be accessed on the FAA website
  • Registration of a UAS aircraft under .55 pounds is not required, but all other safety restrictions apply. 
  • The operator must hold a Remote Pilot Certificate or other applicable credential from the FAA should it be necessary for the UAS activity. The operator will be required to keep a copy of their Remote Pilot Certificate on them while using a UAS on University Property. 
  • The operator shall review all pertinent UAS operational manuals and safety guidelines. (Physical copies are located in the President’s Office. Materials can also be accessed online). 
  • Recreational and educational operators may not receive any compensation (including cost reimbursement, honorarium, or pay) directly or indirectly related to operation of the UAS. 
  • Any use for instructional, research, or commercial purposes by Southeast faculty, students, and staff must comply with all FAA Part 107 or Section 333 requirements. Flight restrictions in these guidelines may be modified through compliance with the FAA waiver application and approval process and must be done in coordination with the Office of the President and the University’s Office of Research and Sponsored Programs Office. 

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Commercial Operation of UAS  

  • All civil commercial UAS use must comply with all federal, state, and local laws and guidelines and operators must obtain a Part 107 Certification, a Section 333 Exemption, or a “Special Airworthiness Certificate” issued by the FAA. 
  • Commercial use of a UAS from or above Southeast Missouri State University property is permitted only for educational, research, or University-related purposes. 
  • An external contract/commercial UAS operator must provide proof of $1 million in general liability insurance on an occurrence basis, with a certificate of insurance naming “the Board of Regents of Southeast Missouri State University, its officer, employees, students, and agents” as an additional insured. Proof of insurance shall be submitted to the University’s risk management department prior to flight operations. 
  • All external contract/commercial UAS operators must be accompanied by a representative of Southeast Missouri State University at all times when operating a UAS on University property. 

Penalties for Violation of University UAS Guidelines  

  • Any violation of law (trespassing, illegal surveillance, reckless endangerment, etc.) or violation of this policy may subject the individual responsible for the violation to disciplinary action and/or prosecution. 
  • Any damages or injuries to property or individuals during the operation of a UAS on Southeast Missouri State University property, other than for a University authorized research or educational use, shall be the sole financial responsibility of the UAS operator. However, an operator shall be solely liable for negligent or intentional use outside of the authorized research or educational use. 

For questions regarding the operation of a UAS at Southeast Missouri State University you may contact: 
Office of the President: (573) 651-2222 
Office of Research and Sponsored Programs: (573) 651-2018 
Department of Public Safety: (573) 651-2215 
Facilities Management: (573) 651-2214 

You may also download these guidelines to keep for your records.

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