FAA grounds university plan to educate students with drones

Stefanie Botelho's picture
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In June I wrote about the University of South Florida’s plans to lend drones to students, at the time I wrote:

Students looking to use drones will be provided training in advance and will be able to check out the small remote-controlled device containing a video camera, which can be used to capture footage from an aerial view. This is exactly what a university should be doing — providing access to new technology for student learning opportunities.

Unfortunately, it is likely the FAA will shut down this forward thinking initiative. Earlier this year, the FAA shut down the drone journalism programs at the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, claiming that the toy drones used by the programs were aircraft subject to FAA regulations. The universities planned to use the small systems according to amateur/hobbyist rules which allow for flights under 400 feet within the line of site of the operator.

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