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Policy on Drones and Model Aircraft

Policy Category: Executive

Effective Date: 2/14/2024

Responsible Officer: Director of Environmental Health and Safety

History: New Policy

Responsible Office: Wentworth Police Department

Location: Link


This policy is intended to provide guidance to Wentworth Institute of Technology (henceforth known as “the university” or “Wentworth”) related to the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) on campus.


This policy applies to all members of the Wentworth community, students, faculty, staff, and affiliates.


14 CFR Part 107 Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems


Wentworth, when appropriate, seeks to permit Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to be utilized productively in a manner that fully meets institutional, legal, public safety and ethical responsibilities, while ensuring compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations.

The university is in a highly populated urban neighborhood, in an area with critical infrastructure that results in pockets of highly restricted air space close to the campus.  This policy addresses the potential use for any reason of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as unmanned aircrafts systems (UASs) and drones, on university property or for any Wentworth covered activity, including for educational/research, recreational or commercial purposes. UAV use is highly regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), but also it presents the potential for property damage, personal injury, invasion of privacy and other violations of law, in addition to presenting general safety concerns and possible distractions to the campus community.


Covered Person: Any faculty or staff member, employee, student, visitor, and/or third party who receives or uses university funds or other resources, participates in university-administered research, or is permitted to operate above university property.

Drone: An unmanned aerial vehicle or unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that is controlled by an operator from a remote location with radio frequency transmissions.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) or Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs): Aircraft that are operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft and their associated elements (such as communication links and the components that control the unmanned aircraft). It includes, without limitation, any device commonly referred to as a drone, quadcopter, model aircraft, model rocket, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), remotely-operated aircraft (ROA) or remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA), and also includes weather or other high-altitude balloons.

University Property: All areas owned, leased or used for university activities.

Wentworth Sponsored Activities: All activities that are either funded by or through the university, performed for credit for a class, undertaken by a student group, or done at the direction of a Wentworth department, club or employee.



  1. UAV use for any Wentworth Sponsored Activity or on any university property is not permitted, except with the prior written consent. 
  2. Any Covered Person proposing to use a UAV for a Wentworth Sponsored Activity or on university property must submit a request for approval in writing to the Wentworth Police Department (WIT PD). The Covered Person must demonstrate that the proposed UAV use is in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations, and must also demonstrate that the proposed UAV use has contemplated the safety of people, property, and the environment.   
  3. Any university faculty, staff or student wishing to operate a UAV as part of their university employment or as part of a university program must first comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, including, but not limited to FAA regulations regarding the use of UAVs. The operator of the UAV is responsible for obtaining the required permits and licenses.  
  4. Specific authorization to operate a UAS on or above any university property, or as part of a Wentworth Sponsored Activity, must be granted by the appropriate department head, before applying to the WIT PD.  
  5. Any student on campus who owns and operates a model aircraft for recreational purposes must also comply with all FAA regulations, are prohibited from flying on or above campus, and are responsible for ensuring they are not operating in restricted airspace.     
  6. The WIT PD will review submissions and, if necessary, consult with other relevant areas or resources, to determine whether the use of the UAV by a Covered Person may for such activity be carried out safely and in compliance with applicable laws. It may approve proposed use of a UAV in accordance with the parameters in the application, and/or may impose specific conditions (for example time limitations) with its approval, or may deny approval. A denial of approval of an application does not prohibit a Covered Person from re-submitting an application with supplemental or alternative proposed parameters from the denied application.  
  7. Approved uses of a UAV may be subject to specific restrictions due to applicable laws and/or university policies or procedures. Approval of UAV use may be restricted to a particular defined area, device weight, timeframe, altitude and/or other parameters.   


Unless specifically addressed by law, or in another university policy, the Covered Person remains responsible for any injury, damage or fines incurred or asserted against the Covered Person because of the use of the UAV.   

Covered Persons who violate this policy may be subject to discipline up to and including disciplinary procedures for students, separation or termination for faculty and staff, or termination of any applicable contract for a third-party contractor.  

To report a suspected violation of this policy, contact WIT PD by phone at 617-989-4400. In an emergency, call 

  • In an off-campus emergency, call 911. 
  • In an on-campus emergency, call 617-989-4444. 

Additional Information & Related Documents

Interpretation & Revision

Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to the Chief of the Wentworth Police Department. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this policy.   

This policy shall be reviewed every 3 years; however, minor changes and updates can be made at any time.    

Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy.   

Review and Revision History

This policy was drafted by representatives from the Wentworth Police Department. This policy was reviewed by Cabinet and approved by the President on  2-14-24. 

This is a new policy.