Autonomous Aerial Systems Office (AAS0)

Welcome to AASO

Our Mission is to...

  • Coordinate and guide faculty, staff, and students through the understanding and decision-making process, regarding implementation of UAS in a changing research and regulatory environment
  • Establish the infrastructure and resources in order to create sustainable autonomous aerial research
  • Stimulate UAS-related innovation, entrepreneurship and workforce development in the state of Montana. 

Please, contact us before you plan to fly.  We can help!

The University of Montana is uniquely positioned to implement unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into multiple areas of research, creative scholarship, and education. 

For more information on the types of projects we work on, AASO overview presentation.

UAS for UM Activities

Per FAA regulations, UM related community members (staff, faculty, contractors,  etc.) wishing to fly UAS outdoors for UM related activities will need to fly under one of our Public Certificates of Authorization (COA) or under 14 CFR Part 107.   

Flying for UM - how to plan!

The regulatory environment is complex, so please make sure to contact us before you begin planning any flights or purchases so we can help.

Decision Tree for UM Unmanned Aerial Systems Use

Side by side comparison of UM Civil vs Public Aircraft Operations

UM's Blanket Certificate of Authorization(COA)

Educational Use of UAS - FAA memorandum

Part 107 Summary and Small UAS Advisory Circular

Actions for an encounter of unknown UAS operations at/for UM 

As a hobbyist, can you fly your drone outdoors on UM campuses?

Per current FAA regulations and for everyone's safety, you must be at least 25 feet from all property and non-participating people, as well as being more than 5 nautical miles from an airport to fly as a hobbyist.  Please note: it is absolutely against FAA regulations to fly over the stadium in particular.

If you are interested in flying your drone, please take the time to read through the recreational users information at Know Before You Fly.  Please also consider the privacy of others when planning your flight.  It is also suggested to call the UM Police Department at 243-6131 to let them know you are flying in case they receive complaints.   

For hobbyists:  Effective December 21, 2015, anyone who owns a small unmanned aircraft of a certain weight must register with the Federal Aviation Administration's Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) registry before they fly outdoors.  People who do not register could face civil and criminal penalties.

Flying for commercial activities on campus

Per FAA regulations, pilots flying for commercial reasons (any activities that are not for "fun and recreation", i.e. marketing, video-production) must have their Part 107 remote pilot license and insurance.  Please contact us as soon as possible to help plan your flight and provide us with a copy of your license and insurance. More information found here.