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KSRE Tuesday Letter

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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

February 8, 2022

New Changes to K-State Drone Policies

Submitted by Carol Baldwin and Travis Balthazor

K-State recently updated the UAS policy. If you fly a drone as part of your K-State Extension work, the updated policies may affect you: https://www.k-state.edu/policies/ppm/7800/7860.html.

Permissions: Any flight, regardless of where you fly (on or off K-State property), will require complying with the policy and filling out a UAS request form. The form will be updated very soon to reflect policy changes: https://www.k-state.edu/policies/ppm/7800/uas-request-form.html.

Depending on the operational parameters, permission for an extended period of time (up to one year) may be granted. Under Project Description, request you would like a long-term approval and broadly describe what you’re trying to accomplish and what you’ll be doing with your flights. Mentioning that you’ll only be flying in Class G airspace (if true) will improve chances of getting long-term approval. If the project lasts for more than one year, you can request a renewal.

Certification: Assuming conditions of recreation flying are met except “flying only for recreational purposes" (enjoyment) (see https://www.faa.gov/uas/recreational_fliers/), K-State drones weighing less than 55 pounds qualify as recreational aircraft if flown for education or research provided by P.L. 115-254, Section 350. See https://www.faa.gov/uas/educational_users/.

These flights can be flown under the less restrictive recreational use certification but must abide by the recreational rules.

If you choose to fly under recreational certification, you will need to indicate the flight will be operated under recreational rules and provide proof of FAA TRUST certificate of completion within the UAS request form.

Recreational FAA TRUST certification can be acquired online at https://trust.modelaircraft.org/.

If you choose to fly under your current Part 107 certification, you will need to follow FAA 14 CFR Part 107 regulations.

Insurance: $500,000 in liability insurance is required for every K-State flight and can be obtained through commercial sources: https://www.investopedia.com/best-drone-insurance-5073798.

If operating as a recreational flyer, Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) membership includes $2,500,000 liability coverage for recreational flights. Annual dues are $75. Each person flying the UAS will need a current AMA membership and TRUST certificate to utilize the insurance benefits: https://www.modelaircraft.org/membership/membership-options.

Questions: For additional questions, contact flyuas@k-state.edu.