Research Knowledge Base
Research Vehicle Safety Oversight (RVSO)
This page provides information regarding Research Vehicle Safety Oversight, Committee Appointment and Membership, RPIC and Pilot Approval, FAA Waivers, Approval Processes, Applications for Facilities Operation and Marketing Operations,
Research Vehicle Safety Oversight Committee
- reviews proposed UAS and or ultralight aircraft operations for consistency with applicable law, regulations, and policy;
- provides recommendations to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education (VCRGE) and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration (VCFA) regarding the approval or rejection of specific proposals for research vehicle operations;
- provides policy recommendations to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration relating to such things as minimum UAS operator requirements, privacy, safety, incident reporting, maintenance, record-keeping and data management; and such other duties as may be requested.
Appointment and Membership
The Committee will be appointed by the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education in consultation with the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. Membership includes representation from faculty who use UAS and or ultralight aircraft, a faculty member who is a licensed aircraft pilot, Office of Legal Affairs, Recreational Sports, Risk Management, UW Extension, UW Police, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, Vice Chancellor for Marketing and Brand Strategy, Vice Chancellor for Teaching and Learning, and the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education.
Ultralight Aircraft Pilot and UAS Remote Pilot in Command Approval
Individuals wishing to be approved to operate UAS and or ultralight aircraft by UW–Madison must submit an application through ARROW. Once approved as a pilot, flights must also be submitted for approval. Applications for operations by students in connection with instructional activities must be submitted by the faculty and academic staff member with responsibility over the instructional activity.
If applicant's planned operation will require a waiver of FAA rules, it is recommended that the applicant apply for the waiver at least ninety (90) days in advance of the first proposed flight date. Applications for waivers are submitted through the following FAA website: https://www.faa.gov/uas/request_waiver/ . If applicable, please include a copy of the FAA waiver application (or approved waiver) with the application form (Appendix A).
The Committee will recommend pilot approval provided the applicant possesses the requisite qualifications. The Committee will recommend flight approvals provided the application adequately describes the proposed activity and reasonably assures that the proposed activity meets the requirements of this Policy and related procedures, as well as the applicable laws and regulations. Applications for operations requiring an FAA waiver will be conditionally approved if the waiver is still pending, with final approval granted upon receipt of the FAA waiver.
Application for Facilities Operations
A separate application form and approval process managed by the Division of Facilities Planning and Management applies to requests for UAS operations by facilities planning and design consultant teams, and/or on behalf of architects, engineers, or construction contractors engaged in facility projects on UW lands pursuant to contracts issued by the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration or by the University of Wisconsin System Administration on behalf of UW-Madison. Submit the Planning, Design, or Construction Request for Authorization to Operate UAS on UW Lands to Campus Planning and Landscape Architecture.
Application for Marketing Operations
UAS operations by third parties for marketing/promotional purposes are not permitted under this policy and should be directed to University Marketing.
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