Campus Counsel

Drones and Model Aircraft


Flying drones and model aircraft (“Small Unmanned Aircraft System” (sUAS)) on Santa Monica College property require written authorization from the College. If you are interested in a sUAS flight, please review Santa Monica College’s regulation governing such aircraft.

Drone footage of SMC

The form below is required for members of the College community requesting to use sUAS on Santa Monica College property. It is also required for College-related educational or research flights anywhere in the US National Airspace System. 

Third parties and non-College recreation users wishing to use a sUAS over College property must first receive approval through the Events Office. Third parties planning to use sUAS must also provide proof compliance with all FAA rules by completing the below form. In addition, operation of a sUAS by a third party or non-College recreational user over College property must be under a contract which holds the College harmless from any resulting claims or harm to individuals and damage to College property and provides insurance as required by the College.  Contact the Events Office for more information.

Operation of sUAS by faculty, students, and staff of Santa Monica College is permitted for recreational and educational purposes on and off College properties. Such operators are referred to as recreational users. Recreational UAS operators must follow FAA guidelines. Special rules authorize educational users to operate under the recreational rules.

Recreational operators are responsible for ensuring that their sUAS is registered according to the guidelines published by the FAA.

Recreational operators must take The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) and carry proof of test passage.

All campuses of Santa Monica College within the City of Santa Monica and City of Los Angeles are in controlled air space. UAS operations will require airspace authorization through the FAA Drone Zone or the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability.

Submit complete requests at least 10 prior to the earliest flight; incomplete requests will require longer processing times. Depending on the information provided, you may be asked to submit a map of flight operations and/or a safety plan to be approved by Risk Management.

For more questions or more information, contact

Operator Information

(must be a College entity)
Will the requestor be the operator of the sUAV:*
The person who will be in control of the sUAV is:*
The person who will be control of the sUAV has the following operator credentials:*
(check all that apply)
Please email a copy of your certificate to
Check the box below to affirm that the requestor, and if different, operator agree to follow all applicable policies and procedures.*

Flight Location and Times

Flight Location*
(Damages to indoor facilities will be charged to sponsor departments.)
If you have prepared a map of flight operations, please email it to

Planned Flight Operation

Privacy Considerations

If your use of a drone will include observations or recordings of people, please provide the following information:

Will the drone observe or record behavior in a context in which an individual can reasonably expect that no observation or recording is taking place?*
Will the drone observe or record information which can identify the observed individuals, directly or indirectly?

Drone Information

Devices between 0.55 to 55 lbs, flown outdoors must be registered with the FAA. All devices must be marked externally with the registration number.