Drones for Education
Drones (and model aircraft) are great tools for use in education. If you are a teacher or a student looking to bring drones into your curriculum, here are a few things you should know before you get started.
We have a program designed for universities, colleges, and technical schools called the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Collegiate Training Initiative (UAS-CTI). In this program we recognize and collaborate with institutions that prepare students for careers in UAS or drones.
Know the rules
Drones flown for educational purposes are regulated under the Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft or under the Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rule.
Exception for Limited Recreational Operations of Unmanned Aircraft
49 U.S.C. § 44809 allows flying drones without complying with part 107. Flying under section 44809 requires flying only for recreational purposes and compliance with all limitations listed in § 44809(a).
Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Rule
Part 107 (14 CFR Part 107) is the primary regulation for flying drones weighing less than 55 pounds. Part 107 permits drones to be flown for many reasons, including work or business, recreation, education, or for public safety missions.
The statutory provision in (P.L. 116-283, Section 10002) clarifies that drones flown for educational and research purposes may be operated under § 44809 for qualifying educational organizations. Qualifying educational organizations include institutions of higher education, Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) programs, and educational programs chartered by an FAA-recognized Community Based Organization.
Note: Educational organizations that do not qualify as institutions of higher education or are not part of a JROTC program must be chartered by a recognized CBO to operate under § 44809; otherwise, those organizations must operate under Part 107.
For more information, read Advisory Circular 91-57C.
FAA-Recognized Identification Areas
Beginning September 16, 2023, FAA-Recognized Identification Areas (FRIAs) are locations where Remote ID is not required. Educational institutions, including primary and secondary educational institutions, trade schools, colleges, and universities are eligible to request the establishment of a FRIA.
DronePro Program and the FAA Safety Team
DronePros are FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) volunteers who work closely with the FAA to promote safety in their local area. These volunteers are interviewed and trained by the FAA and are provided with equipment and materials to help them plan events and give presentations. A DronePro may be able to come talk to your students or setup a flight demonstration. The FAASTeam has a roster of DronePros in most states.
You can find a DronePro near you from the FAASTeam Online Directory
- enter 'dronepro' in the keyword field
- enter your state in the state field
Get involved with the FAASTeam
You can volunteer as a DronePro or you can become a FAASTeam Member. Members are invited to attend live FAASTeam webinars and live events in their local area. Learn more about the FAASTeam.
Resources for Educators and Administrators
- K-12 Schools – STEM AVSED
- Learn more about the UAS Collegiate Training Initiative