Drones on Campus

Flying a drone on campus for recreation or academic purposes is possible as long as the basic safety rules are followed. If you wish to fly for any reason other than recreation or academics you must first obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA (often referred to as a Part 107 certification). Any student who wishes to fly a drone on campus MUST meet with David Tatem (make an appointment, or email at david.tatem@trincoll.edu) to go over the rules and expectations. Campus Safety will be notified whenever a student has been approved to fly on campus.

Taken by Sam Liu
Credit: Sam Liu

Before you fly

  1. Register your drone with the FAA if it weighs more than 250 grams
  2. Label your drone with the FAA assigned registration number in a clearly visible location
  3. Pass The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST)
  4. Be familiar with your drone and the rules and regulations for flying safely

Know the rules

  1. Follow the safety guidelines of a Community Based Organization (CBO) such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics or the FPV Freedom coalition or the FAA’s interim guidance
  2. Trinity College is in controlled airspace so you MUST receive an airspace authorization via the LAANC system prior to EVERY flight. There are many LAANC providers but we recommend Aloft or Google’s OpenSky
  3. The altitude limit for campus is 300ft
  4. Always watch for manned aircraft, there are hospital helipads as well as Brainard airport nearby. If a manned aircraft is approaching you must yield and avoid any close encounters
  5. Always maintain visual line of sight – you must be able to see your drone at all times
  6. Never fly directly over people or moving vehicles
  7. Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Drones for academics or research

The college offers 2 credit bearing courses focusing on drones: ENVS-281 is a .5 credit course offered during the January Term and ENVS-282 is a 1 credit course offered in the Summer session. (Students can only receive credit for one of these courses.)

The college owns a few drones we can use with classes and to support research. If you are a faculty member or a student and are interested in incorporating the use of drones into your teaching, learning or research we can help! contact david.tatem@trincoll.edu for more information.