Flying Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles (Drones) on Campus

Request Approval

To request approval for an indoor or outdoor flight of a drone or other unmanned aircraft vehicle, please submit the Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle Flight Request Form at least two weeks prior to the proposed flight date.

Flights may take place only in the specific location(s) approved through the request process. More than one day and time may be requested on a single form. Additional days and times may be reserved following receipt of an approved flight plan by submitting another request.
University personnel may conduct indoor drone/small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) flights for research and courses in spaces that are already assigned to them (e.g., office, research laboratory, dorm room) without using this request and approval process.

Before Requesting Flight Approval

All unmanned aircraft vehicles must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). If your drone is not yet registered with the FAA, you should visit the FAA Registration page.

Whether you are flying a drone for recreation, education or business purposes, the FAA now requires operators to be certified, by obtaining either a Part 107 License (required for business flights) or certification through the TRUST program (sufficient for recreational and educational uses, with significant limitations). Learn more on the Princeton UAS website: is the main source for detailed information about unmanned aircraft flight requirements at Princeton.

Considerations for Non-Affiliated Persons

UAV operators who are not affiliated with Princeton (“invitees”) are required to have a campus sponsor submit the flight request on their behalf. This sponsor must be present at the time of the flight. Invitees are also required to have a signed contract with Princeton University showing proof of insurance coverage.

You can review requirements for third-party invitees on the Instructions For Invitees page, which also provides a sample insurance document. All photography and filming by invitees/third-party operators must be approved by the Office of Communications. If applicable, please complete and send the Princeton University Campus Access Authorization Form to Media Relations.

Pre-Flight Best Practices

Carrying out the following pre-flight activities will help to ensure the flight is safe and successful:

  1. Obtain weather and visibility conditions report within the hour prior to the flight, verifying minimum visibility of 3 miles
  2. Confirm that no FAA Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) have been issued for your location
  3. Inform all non­participating people in the immediate flight field that it is reserved for sUAS operations and that they must stay clear of the area. Do not fly if people remain in the way. FAA rules prohibit flying over uninvolved persons.
  4. If indoors, display signage at any indoor entry points “No Entry – Unmanned Aircraft Operations”
  5. If outdoors, wear a safety vest to enhance visibility of the operation
  6. Verify that the communication/control link is functioning prior to commencing the flight plan
  7. Notify EHS if the flight plan is cancelled or substantively modified