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A new UT Knoxville policy governs the use of any unmanned aircraft system (UAS, or drone) on university property or in connection with university employment.

Anyone planning to operate a drone on the UT Knoxville campus must get approval no less than seven days before doing so. As associate vice chancellor of public safety and chief of police, Troy Lane serves as the campus’s UAS coordinator and will review the requests. Once he’s approved a request, the drone operator should carry that paperwork with them when operating the drone.

The UAS policy is available on the UT Police website. Anyone seeking approval to operate a drone at UT should read the policy carefully.

Here are some of the key points:

  • Drones may not be operated inside building, on university-owned streets or sidewalks, or in any way that disrupts events or endangers people.
  • Drones may not be operated above anyone not involved in their operation.
  • Drones cannot be used within two miles of Neyland Stadium during football games and for four hours before and two hours after games.
  • Drones cannot be operated before sunrise or after sunset.
  • Drones must not be flown above 400 feet and must always give way to manned aircraft. Their operation must adhere to all federal, state, and local laws and to university policy.
  • Anyone operating a drone must provide the device’s registration, proof that they’ve completed FAA training, and proof of appropriate licensing. It is also the responsibility of the drone operator to notify and seek approval from the local airport tower prior to the actual use of the drone.
  • University units purchasing drones should consult with the UAS coordinator to ensure that appropriate regulations are followed.

If you have questions concerning the university policy on drones, contact Lane at 974-6631 or