Drone / UAS Information

  Riverside Unified School District Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs / Drones) Guidelines for Use



Drones have many potential positive uses for both staff and students throughout RUSD. These guidelines are intended to promote the responsible, safe, and legal use of UASs over District properties. While it is the responsibility of the drone user to understand and follow all government regulations, which will not be reprinted herein, this document will provide a brief synopsis of actions and information required by the prospective drone user prior to operating a UAS over District property, or using a District-owned drone anywhere.


The use of drones poses unique risks, many of which are self-evident, such as the possibility of injury due to malfunction or misuse, or property damage to others and the drone itself. However, there are also risks which may not be quite so obvious. These include the possibility of charges of invasion of privacy (e.g., flying over someone’s backyard), hitting a fire sprinkler when flown indoors causing water damage, and potential personal liability to the operator for damages/injury caused by illegal use (such as flying an unregistered drone, or flying without the proper government issued piloting certification).

Which Type of Operator are You?

Drones can be operated legally only under one of two FAA regulatory categories, and you are responsible for assuring you follow all regulations under the appropriate option, else you are operating illegally. Note that if you operate a drone for District purposes in an illegal manner, the District’s insurance may not be able to cover you or defend you should a liability claim or lawsuit be filed against you, and you may be personally subject to significant government fines. Thus the importance of knowing which regulatory option you are operating under, and understanding (and following) all regulations of that option.

Option One: Flying for hobby or recreation use ONLY.

This option is described under FAA Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Section 336)

Option Two: Flying for commercial use

This option is described under the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107).

Below is a brief summary of each user type (as it relates to District use) to help you decide which option your intended use fits under… but remember, it is your responsibility to study, understand, and follow FAA regulations before any use for District purposes or over District property.

Requirements for each type of user

drone Safety Guidelines

The following must be adhered to in order to operate any drone over District property, or to use a District-owned drone anywhere:
  • Complete a District “Drone Use Application” (available from Purchasing or Risk Mgt.)
  • Register your drone
  • For commercial users, obtain the proper Remote Pilot Airman or Remote Pilot in Command Certification, and pertinent FAA certificates of authorization or waivers 
  • Notify all airports within 5 miles of your intended use.Document your notification.
  • Always conduct and document a pre-flight inspection, to include specific aircraft and control station systems checks.
  • Fly your drone at or below 400 feet
  • Keep your drone within your line of sight
  • Be aware of and compliant with FAA Airspace Restrictions
  • Respect privacy (i.e., do NOT fly over private property)
  • Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
  • Never fly over people, public events, or stadiums when people are present
  • Never fly near emergencies such as fires or other types of disasters
  • Never fly indoors (with the exception of “mini-drones” under 0.55 lbs/8.8 ozs. with little or no potential to cause property damage or injury
  • Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Never fly in excess of 100 mph
  • Be aware of local ordinances and regulations, including signage
  • Understand the risks to you, to others, and to the District, and take steps to reduce those risks.