Policy on the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“Drones”)

The purpose of this policy is to facilitate the safe use of drones for legitimate research and business purposes in compliance with applicable law. This policy applies to all commercial and noncommercial users of drones, including but not limited to students, faculty and other academic appointees, staff employees, post-doctoral researchers, contractors, employees of affiliates, volunteers, and visitors. 

The use of drones on University of Chicago property or property owned, leased or controlled by the University without prior written permission from the University’s Department of Safety and Security is prohibited. Any drone use off University property that creates a hazard to University property is also prohibited. In addition, authorized drones must be operated in a way that complies with all applicable federal, state, and local laws and federal guidelines, and does not disrupt University operations or disturb the environment of people in the vicinity. Persons who violate this policy may be subject to discipline under the applicable University disciplinary processes, held responsible for damages, and/or banned from campus, and may also be subject to fines or other penalties under applicable federal, state, or local law.

For inquiries regarding the use of drones for research purposes, please contact Michael Ludwig, Associate Vice President for Research Compliance, at mrludwig@uchicago.edu. For inquiries regarding the use of drones for other University business, please contact Eric Heath, Associate Vice President for Safety and Security, at emheath@uchicago.edu.