Virginia Commonwealth University Drone Documents

Drone Watch filed this request with the Virginia Commonwealth University of Virginia.
Est. Completion None
Payment Required


From: Drone Watch

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Virginia Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

1. any requests for proposals, proposals submitted by vendors, contracts, budgets or cost allocations for the purchase, research of and/or use of aerial drones, UAs, UAVs, and UASs (hereinafter “drones”);

2. any policies, guidelines, manuals and/or instructions on use of drones, including on the legal process required (such as a warrant or court order), if any, before operating a drone;

3. any records concerning use of drones now or plans to use drones in the future including:

a. the types of investigations or instances in which this department is using or plans to use drones, or how it plans to support, manage or oversee the usage of drones by another department or office;

b. policies, guidelines, manuals and/or instructions on storage requirements or procedures for video or static images obtained through use of drones, including retention times;

c. the altitude at which drones can or do fly;

d. drones’ ability to carry weapons.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.


Catherine MacDonald


Dear Ms. MacDonald,

Virginia Commonwealth University is an instrumentality of the Commonwealth
of Virginia and, as such, is subject to the provisions of the Virginia
Freedom of Information Act. That law, however, limits the access to
records of Virginia public institutions to citizens of Virginia. Your
letter suggests that you are a resident and citizen of Massachusetts and,
therefore, that you are not a citizen of Virginia. For that reason, and
on that basis, your request for records is respectfully denied.

From: Drone Watch

Catherine is a Virginia citizen. Her address will be sent to you, but MuckRock are the custodians of her request and we expect the documents to be sent to the address we initially provided.


Tom Nash


Sept. 21, 2012

Re: Virginia Freedom of Information Act Request

Dear Ms. MacDonald:

This is in response to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (the “Act”)
request received by Virginia Commonwealth University on Friday, Sept. 14,

Please be advised that it is practically impossible to provide the
requested records or determine whether they are available within the five
working days required by FOIA because of the volume of the request.
Therefore, we are invoking subsection B 4 of § 2.2-3704 to provide us with
seven additional working days to respond to your request.

Also, § 2.2-3704(H) Code of Virginia provides that where the cost of
producing requested records exceeds $200, that prior to processing the
request, a deposit no greater than the amount estimated to cover the
production costs may be required as a deposit. We are unable to waive this
fee. Your request will cost an estimated $1694.35 to fulfill. Attached is
an invoice if you choose to move forward with the remainder of your
request. We will process your request upon receipt of that payment. You
will later be advised of actual costs incurred and of any adjustment

We also reserve the right to ultimately deem some or all of the compiled
records to be exempt from mandatory public disclosure based on relevant
exemptions as we process the request. We will immediately advise you if
there are exemptions that will be invoked.


Leila Ugincius
PR Specialist and Social Media Manager
VCU Office of Public Affairs

Fwd: Freedom of Information Request: Virginia Commonwealth University
Drone Documents

Anne L Buckley
09/14/2012 02:11 PM

Anne Buckley