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11.14.P.2 Small Unmanned Aircraft System ( sUAS/Drones)

Section 11.14 - Policy


In order to maintain school safety and security, the Dysart Unified School District has developed a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (also known as sUAS, UAS, UAV, Drone) procedure to ensure flights over district property are conducted within guidelines of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Dysart Unified School District.

This procedure applies to all district employees, students, and volunteers, as well as any individual or organization that requests flight over district property.  All applications of this procedure are intended to comply with federal rules governing sUAS use at the time of such use. If there is any inconsistency between this procedure and such federal rules, the federal rules shall govern, and all persons operating a sUAS pursuant to this procedure shall be aware of and follow all federal rules.

Acronyms, Abbreviations, and Definitions
  • AGL: Above Ground Level
  • ATC: Air Traffic Control
  • Employee: A person paid a wage, salary, or stipend from public monies in accordance with official entries on district payroll. This includes all classified, certified, administrator, contract employee, elected official, and any temporary employee paid through the Dysart Unified School District accounts payable process.
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA): An agency of the United States responsible for the control and use of navigable airspace within the United States. The FAA provides all rules and regulations regarding commercial use of sUAS.
  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS): A U.S.-owned utility that provides users with positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services.
  • Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS): Any satellite navigation system that uses satellites to provide autonomous geospatial positioning. The GPS system is one type of GNSS.
  • Lost Link: Loss of command and control link, either uplink or downlink, between the control station and the aircraft.
  • Lost Link Procedure: Preprogrammed and predetermined mitigations to ensure the continued safe operation or flight termination of the unmanned aircraft in the event of a Lost Link.
  • National Airspace System (NAS): There are two categories of airspace, Regulatory (Class A, B, C, D, and E airspaces which are considered Controlled Airspaces) and non-regulatory Class G airspace which is uncontrolled airspace.
  • NOTAM: Notice to Airmen
  • PIC: Pilot in Command
  • sUAS: A Small Unmanned Aircraft System (also known as UAS, UAV, Drone) and associated elements (including communication links and the components that control the sUAS) that are required for the pilot in command to operate safely and efficiently in the National Airspace System.  An sUAS as defined by the FAA weighs between 0.55-55 lbs.

All sUAS operations over Dysart Unified School District property must have prior approval from the district.  Request for approvals must state if images will be captured and the reason for capturing the images. Regardless of whether or not the sUAS operation is conducted for commercial purposes, the operation must have a designated Pilot in Command (PIC) who has passed an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center for 14 CFR part 107.  The certified PIC must follow the pre-flight checklist, location requirements, and operating rules as outlined in this procedure.

All sUAS operated over district property must be equipped with a Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), and Lost Link Procedure in case of loss.

Pre-Flight Checklist
The Pilot in Command (PIC) must perform the Pre-Flight Checklist in its entirety before each flight with the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) on district property.
  1. Equipment Check - The sUAS must undergo pre-flight equipment check to ensure it is in condition for safe operation
a.  Perform visual inspection for overall condition
b.  Examine airframe structure, to include all flight control surfaces
c.  Verify FAA registration markings are displayed and legible
d.  Check movable control surfaces, motors, propulsion system (propellers)
e.  Check communication/navigation equipment and antenna(s)
f.   Perform a compass calibration
g.  Verify display panel is functioning properly
h.  Since sUAS batteries produce minimal flying time, the sUAS battery must be fully charged when starting the flight.  No battery may be used that shows signs of damage or defect.
i.   Verify that the sUAS has acquired GPS location from at least four satellites
j.   Start the sUAS propellers to inspect for any imbalance or irregular operation
k.  Perform a low altitude check for controllability and stability
l.   Verify all control links are working properly
m. Ensure both controller and sUAS firmware is up-to-date by manufacturer
  1. Weather Forecast - The PIC must formulate a standard and future weather condition forecast from an approved entity to ensure conditions are within parameters for flight.
    a.  Visibility - must be at least 3 statute miles
    b.  Temperature - The air temperature must be between 32° and 104°F (0° to 40°C) to operate the sUAS safety.
    c.  Wind Speed - The sUAS may not be flown in winds that exceed 10 meters per second or 22 miles per hour.
    d.  Clouds - The sUAS must stay 2000 feet horizontally and 500 feet below any clouds.
    e.  Weather Conditions - A sUAS may not be operated in adverse weather conditions to include snow, rain, smog, fog, heavy wind, hail, lightning, tornados, or hurricanes.  Only moderate
          weather conditions are acceptable.
  2. NOTAMS (Notice to Airmen) - A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight.  The PIC must check with or an equivalent entity and document and adhere to any NOTAMS filed that may interfere with sUAS operations.
  3. District Approval - Prior to flight, the PIC must fill out and submit a written request during regular school hours and with at least 72 hours of notification to Dysart Unified School District officials.  If approved, the district and school will ensure those students who can’t be photographed or videotaped will be out of the line of sight of the sUAS during the indicated operation times. A district representative must be present during all approved sUAS operations and has the authority to revoke approval.
  4. Identify local airspace and applicable restrictions - A majority of property within the Dysart Unified School District falls within KLUF Class D Airspace because of its proximity to Luke Air Force Base.  For those operations within the KLUF Class D Airspace, the operator must follow defined Certificate of Authorization requirements, which may be obtained from district administration. The PIC must request permission with controlling ATC for operating times and flight paths to ensure the sUAS operation does not interfere with manned flights.

Operating Rules
  1. All approved sUAS operations must only be conducted over district property.
  2. The PIC must always yield right of way to manned aircraft
  3. Must keep the sUAS in sight (visual line-of-sight)
  4. The sUAS must be registered with the FAA.The PIC must follow community-based safety guidelines
  5. Part 107 limits your altitude to 400 feet unless your unmanned aircraft is flying within 400 feet of a structure (in which case you may not fly higher than 400 feet above the top of that structure).
  6. All sUAS operations must be conducted during the day (between sunrise and sunset).  No civil twilight operations are allowed on district property.
  7. The sUAS must fly at or below 100 mph.
  8. The sUAS must NOT be flown over people.
  9. The sUAS must not be flown or operated from a moving vehicle.
  10. The sUAS may not be flown inside any district building.  All operations must occur outside.
  11. No sUAS may be loaded with anything (including extra radios or instruments, modifications, payloads, or cargo) not created specifically by the manufacturer for the sUAS.
  12. In accordance with FAA guidelines, an uncertified person may operate the sUAS only when a certified PIC is overseeing the operation and supervising the controls.
  13. Never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires, medical incidents, or law enforcement activity without prior approval of incident command.

  1. A sUAS shall not be used to monitor or capture data in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy in accordance with accepted social norms, in the absence of a valid search warrant or otherwise allowed by law.
  2. A sUAS shall only collect and save information that is consistent and relevant to an authorized purpose.  Anyone who collects personal data as part of the authorized mission shall:
    a.  Immediately notify the district of the nature of the collection
    b.  Transmit such data to the district
    c.  Destroy and not retain the data once transferred

Sanctions for Violations
  1. Any violation of this procedure will be dealt with in accordance with applicable district policies and procedures, which may include disciplinary actions up to and including termination.
  2. Fines or damages incurred through sUAS operations that do not comply with this procedure or other applicable federal, state or local laws and regulations will be the responsibility of the persons involved.