There’s little doubt that the drones are here to stay for construction. Though their safe and legal use among other air traffic and over pedestrian areas is a growing concern. The Drone Act is part of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 2012. It requires the FAA to “fully integrate the use of drones into U.S. airspace by 2015.” Several regulations have been passed as a result. Here’s what you need to know before using a drone on a construction site.
Know Before You Fly
FAA has enacted strict regulations regarding the commercial and private use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones in all shapes and sizes, including remote controlled fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. The website Know Before You Fly was established to educate the public about these regulations and to offer safety tips for flying UAVs.
- Registration of UAS for private use will begin on December 21, 2015.
- Registration of UAS for commercial use will begin in the spring of 2016.
UAV use is authorized on a case-by-case basis and requires expressed permission of the FAA. According to the FAA, commercial use of a UAS commonly falls into one of these categories:
- Selling photos or videos taken from a UAS
- Using UAS to provide contract services, such as industrial equipment or factory inspection
- Using UAS to provide professional services, such as security or telecommunications
Businesses can use drones with an FAA airworthiness certificate. Exceptions for commercial use can be requested from the FAA.
Regardless of your purpose, check with the FAA before flying a drone for any commercial use.
Photo courtesy of Skycatch.