Frequently Asked Questions


If you have a question that is not answered here, or you need more information, please contact

Hiring contractors

Q:  We are a department/school/unit of the University of Montana and wish to hire a company to capture some drone footage for us.  Are there restrictions on whom we can hire and how we pay them?

A:  If you are a Montana University System entity then a contract needs to be in place to clarify liability, insurance, and each party's responsibility in the mission.  Therefore, you will need to use one of the vendors set up in Grizmart or set up a new one.  If the company you wish to use is not listed in Grizmart, please contact us to discuss your options. More general information here.

UAS in research

Q:  As a student, staff or faculty member of UM, what are my options for using UAS for research?  

A:  You have a couple of options here, both of which have a cost associated with them.  First, there are several contractors set up in Grizmart that are available to fly your mission(s) for you.  Second, UM has a small fleet of UAS and sensors available for rent.  You can also rent a remote pilot and visual observer, or if you wish to fly for yourself, you must obtain your Remote Pilote Certificate (Part 107) prior to any flights.  

In either case, using a contractor or UM's fleet, costs vary widely (~$100/day to a few thousand dollars/day) based on the research mission parameters, which sensor(s) you need, flight time needed, etc.  

Please contact our office for help with your project.  That's what we're here for!

Q: I am a student/staff/faculty member and have my own UAS.  May I use it for my research project?

A:  You can use your UAS as long as it is registered with the FAA and you assume all liability for any damage that may occur to it.  If you fly under a UM Certificate of Authorization, you will need to fly a UM-owned aircraft.

Q:  I am a student/staff/faculty member and would like to purchase a UAS using UM funds (grant, department, etc).  I want to use the UAS for research, marketing materials, or in a course I'm teaching/taking.  Under what conditions may I do this?

A:  If you are purchasing your UAS with UM funds, then you will need to have it registered with the FAA