The use of drones has transformed the construction services industry.
Thanks to new regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), commercial drones–like those used in construction services–are about to get even more accessible.
This is important and exciting news for project managers, general contractors, and construction business owners alike.
After all, it’s always great news when advances are made towards safer, faster and better construction projects.
But, just how big is this update from the FAA?
With these new regulations, the commercial drone industry is poised to bring $82 billion dollars to the US and create more than 100,000 new jobs.
So, the stakes are pretty high.
But as with any exciting new developments in the world of technology, information can change quickly. You need to stay on top of what’s happening.
Not to worry! We’ve broken down the important changes to FAA regulations on commercial drones for you in this blog post.
Here’s what’s happening with the changes:
DRONES IN THE CONSTRUCTION SERVICES INDUSTRY
While the use of commercial drones in the construction services industry isn’t necessarily groundbreaking, the ways project managers and contractors can utilize drones is about to grow exponentially.
Until this update from the FAA, commercial drones had to be operated by someone with a commercial pilot’s license.
That meant that even though you were using an “unmanned aerial vehicle”, you still had to have a specific crew member just to fly the drone.
Obviously, not everyone on a work site is going to have a commercial pilot’s license.
You could be on a waiting list for a licensed pilot for using a drone on your site for ages.
In addition to operating your drone within the old regulations, the process to apply for using drone was prohibitive for many projects.
Adoption rates for drones were not as high as many in the industry would have liked.
If you have had to table the idea of using drones in the past, we’ll quickly recap all of the benefits of using drones at your work sites–updated for the new FAA rules.
PROS OF DRONES
With the updates to the FAA regulations, it’s a great time to reconsider how commercial drone usage has revolutionized the construction services industry–including some new benefits.
Drones are especially useful for the construction industry for mapping.
A drone can survey large projects in a fraction of the time that a human team can, with significantly more accuracy.
With better surveying, projects can cut down on the waste that plagues the industry because of poorly managed resources.
Mapping more often also means that there are more opportunities to address problems as they arise and therefore mitigate delays.
In addition to running projects more efficiently, there is the added benefit of not having to hire a licensed drone pilot. You can read more about that in the below explanation of the new regulations.
Combined with the other benefits of using drones, projects taking advantage of this advance in technology and the new FAA rules can see many benefits.
Even the smallest gains in efficiency can have a huge impact on the bottom line!
With drones, you can see lower costs, fewer delays, fewer problems and increased efficiency–with just one investment.
All of which are top priorities for construction service individuals.
Let’s break down the major points of the new regulations. Here’s what you need to know now.
As of June 2016, these are the new rules from the FAA for commercial drones.
While these rules don’t apply exclusively to drones in the construction services industry, you’ll need to be up to date on these key points.
- Drones should weigh no more than 55 pounds
- Performing “non-hobbyist” functions (such as surveying a construction site)
- Drone operators must keep the UAV in their line of sight as they fly it
- Drones can only be flown during daylight and twilight, with anti-collision lights
- Adhere to all safety specifications as outlined in the full FAA rules
- Drone operators must be at least 16 years old and have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, or be supervised by someone fitting those qualifications
- Pre-flight safety checks must be performed on the drone before flight
In addition to the full list of rules and details, the FAA provides a suggest breakdown of privacy guidelines to adhere to (although these are not federal regulations yet).
While these new rules are much less restrictive than previous regulations for commercial drone use, there is still plenty of room for innovation and progress.
Let’s consider what’s on the horizon for the drone industry so you’re prepared to make an informed decision about adopting this technology.
INTO THE FUTURE
With drone technology, there are still many advances to be made.
Those advances specifically relevant to the construction service industry lie mostly in software development.
The software used in drones designates the capability of the drones.
This means mapping, surveying, plus photo and video capabilities.
Expect to see significant advances in the software development of drones, allowing for better rendering of spaces and even better 3D modeling.
In addition to advancements in drone technology, regulation will continue to evolve with the adoption of commercial drones.
Next on the horizon is privacy concerns.
This is why it’s so important to stay up to date on the latest news about drones and the construction service industry.
You should always aim to be a step ahead of the next big development in this industry.
This will keep you nimble and successful in an ever-changing market.
Many in the industry have a vision of a drone on every construction job site.
Consider carefully how drone technology can be successfully deployed in your next project, especially with these new rules from the FAA.
The construction industry has already seen plenty of benefits thanks to drones, so expect to see even more innovation and advancements in the near future.
Have questions about the construction service industry or want to tell us more about the needs of your next project? Feel free to get in touch with us today.