IS-2540 Small Unmanned Aircraft (Drones)


Effective Date:  6/6/2017

1. Application

CNM must comply with Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) requirements and other applicable regulations regarding small unmanned aircraft systems (“sUAS”).This procedure applies to third-parties, employees and students seeking to operate sUAS on or above CNM property.  Recreational use of sUAS on CNM property by students, faculty, staff or third-parties is prohibited. All requests for commercial sUAS use must be submitted to the Marketing and Communications Office (“MCO”).

2. Definitions

2.1 Small Unmanned Aircraft System means an unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds at takeoff and operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft. The aircraft’s associated elements, such as communication links and the components that control the sUAS, required for the safe and efficient operation of the sUAS in the national airspace system are also included as part of this definition.

2.2 CNM Property means any CNM campus and any other property owned or leased by CNM.

2.3 Recreational Use means operation of a small unmanned aircraft for personal interests and enjoyment that is unrelated to an official College program.

2.4 Commercial Use typically means any use by a third-party that is not recreational use. For example: a construction company flying a drone over a recently completed construction project to take aerial photos of the completed work.

3. Use of sUAS for Educational or Official College Business Purposes

3.1 CNM employees or students who use sUAS for educational purposes or for official College business must follow all applicable FAA guidelines and College policies and procedures. A summary of the applicable guidelines can be accessed here.

3.2 MCO must be notified of sUAS use for educational purposes at the beginning of each term.

4. Third-Party Request for sUAS Use on CNM Property

4.1 Prior to commercial use of sUAS on or above CNM property, a third-party must submit a written request to MCO detailing the proposed use along with supporting documentation of the following:

  • Registration with the Small Unmanned Aircraft System Registration Service
  • A signed statement by the remote pilot indicating that he or she will follow all appropriate FAA regulations
  • Part 107 waiver, if applicable
  • Documentation indicating the sUAS pilot is at least 16 years old and possesses a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate
  • Proof of liability insurance with coverage limits in the amount designated by the New Mexico Tort Claims Act (NMSA 1978, § 41-4-1 et seq.)

4.2 MCO will review the request and documentation and consult with CNM’s Security Department and other departments (as necessary) before issuing a written approval or denial.

4.3 Flights approved by CNM do not authorize photography, or video recording of any property not owned or leased by CNM.

5. Third-Party sUAS Operators on Campus

5.1 The operation of sUAS above CNM property must adhere to all applicable FAA regulations governing sUAS operations in the National Airspace System.

5.2 The State of New Mexico has not established regulations governing sUAS usage as of the effective date of this policy. If such regulations are established, they shall be given full force and effect by this section.

6. Accident Reporting

6.1 Any operation of a small aircraft that results in serious injury to any person, or any loss of consciousness, or damage to any property other than the sUAS must be reported to the FAA by the remote pilot no later than ten (10) calendar days after the incident. CNM’s Security Department must be notified immediately if such an incident occurs. A copy of the FAA accident report must be forwarded to CNM’s Security Department by the remote pilot upon receipt.

7. Sanctions

7.1 Violation of this procedure may result in disciplinary action in accordance with College policy. Third-parties in violation of this procedure may also be subject to legal action as permitted by law.

8. Notification

8.1 CNM News Link shall notify the College community of sUAS use prior to the expected flight date.

8.2 MCO may also provide notice of sUAS use by other means in addition to News Link.