- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Missouri State University has banned the recreational and unauthorized use of unmanned drones on its campuses.

The policy was approved Oct. 3 by university president Clif Smart, according to the Springfield News-Leader (https://sgfnow.co/2eVlr0Z ).

University attorney Jeff Mitchell said the policy was shaped by Federal Aviation Administration guidance and was designed to ensure the safety and privacy of people on the university’s Springfield, Mountain Grove and West Plains campuses.

“Clearly, there are risks associated with this type of device,” Mitchell said. “We’ve seen situations where drones have fallen out of the sky, injuring individuals and disrupting events.”

Mitchell said anyone caught violating the policy will be subject to discipline under university policies, as well as penalties under state and federal law. The university asks anyone who observes a drone on campus to notify the Springfield campus’ Department of Safety and Transportation, or the West Plain’s Campus Safety office.

Faculty and students can seek permission to use drones for research, instructional or multimedia purposes on a campus or during an MSU event. If permission is allowed, the university will notify the areas of campus that would be affected by the drone. Drone usage is allowed for official law enforcement and emergency response efforts.

“We want to set the expectation that any usage on our campus is official and has been approved,” Mitchell said.

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Information from: Springfield News-Leader, https://www.news-leader.com

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