Drone Flights For Research, Recreation Move to Forrestal

March 16, 2022

With the beginning of construction on the Lake Campus Development in West Windsor, Princeton University has suspended the use of the recreational area south of Lake Carnegie known as West Windsor Fields. As a result, the Princeton small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) program has arranged for flights to move to the James Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro.

Drone flights at Forrestal are permitted at the Forrestal Helistop, located adjacent to 701 Forrestal Road (University Printing & Mailing Building) at 40°20'48.2"N 74°36'42.4"W (see annotated map of location). This helipad provides a level, paved surface for flight staging and launch and is adjacent to open fields with ample straight-line visibility. There is also a FAA windsock atop 701 Forrestal Road that is visible.

Parking is available in front of 701 Forrestal adjacent to the helipad, which is near the TigerTransit Route 3 Merwick to Forrestal/PPPL via Equad bus line (visit the TigerTransit website for more information). Access to electrical hookups can be requested.

Use of the Forrestal Helistop for flying sUAS is available by approval only to Princeton University students, faculty and staff. No flights are permitted at any other locations at Forrestal.

As with all drone flights on Princeton University property, permission must be secured in advance by submitting a Flight Request Form on the ServiceNow platform. Requests are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. All proposed flights must be in compliance with FAA regulations.

Enough advance notice must be given to allow for proper vetting and notifications; two weeks lead time is recommended. While the helipad is infrequently used (twice a year on average), any scheduled helicopter flights take priority over sUAS activity. 

The permitted flight zone is viewable on this mapFlights are not permitted over or near roads, parking lots, buildings or structures, and must adhere to all Princeton UAS Safety and Operational Rules. No rocketry flights will be permitted.

Flights for recreation and research purposes currently are not permitted on the main campus of Princeton University.