Rutgers University has banned the recreational use of drones on Rutgers property and is developing policies for the use of autonomous devices for research and educational use.
Rutgers President Robert L. Barchi announced the ban on unmanned aerial vehicles Monday in a universitywide email to all students and staff.
Rutgers "is banning the recreational use of UAVs, remotely operated model airplanes and helicopters, and other remotely operated flying vehicles on university property, and the recreational use of any university-owned UAV equipment under any circumstances in any location," Barchi wrote. "Failure to comply with this ban may result in confiscation of the UAV, imposition of disciplinary measures, and possible state and/or federal penalties."
The legal landscape for drone use is complicated, Barchi noted, and he cited safety issues such as possible interference with medevac helicopters that land at university hospitals.
Still, he said, drones have research and educational applications that Rutgers should encourage.
"UAVs are not only a new focus of university research, but they also have increasing commercial applications and recreational uses. It is important for our faculty and students to be able to make use of drones in their research and educational activities," Barchi wrote. "Toward this end, we are working to identify locations that can provide a safe testing area for UAV research and educational uses."
Rutgers is creating a committee to study the use of drones, Barchi said, beginning with a universitywide survey to inventory existing equipment on Rutgers' campuses.
The full email is below: