Newly Unveiled FAA Commercial Drone Regulations
The prevalence of UAV, or drone, usage has increased exponentially within the last couple of years. From applications in the construction industry to expedited mail delivery and so on, widespread use of drones for a variety of tasks is becoming more and more common. “Drones have emerged as a game-changing technology in the construction industry due to their ability to monitor construction sites, take photos, collect information, and then send that back to the project managers or design team,” stated Kim Slowley, writer for ConstructionDive. With this increased drone air traffic, the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, has just released the first of the small commercial drone rules.
Though rules about attaching cats to drones are not clearly stated, the new rules have outlined basic guidelines for drone usage. Without some regulation, mass usage could become dangerous. This is the first time that construction companies have been able to fly commercial drones without applying for an exemption on a case-by-case basis. These new rules will allow for a larger use of drones in a multitude of industries. The rules are specified for commercial drones that weigh less than 55 lbs. These drones must fly below 400 ft. in altitude, stay within sight of the operator, and fly during daylight hours. Also, the pilot of the UAV is required to be at least 16 years of age, required to pass an aeronautical test,and pass a background check by the Transportation Security Administration every 24 months. Drone users can apply for exemptions if they wish to operate outside of these standard rules.
JBKnowledge currently has four drones that are used by the JBKLabs Research & Development team for testing use cases throughout construction. The Parrot AR and the DJI Phantom 3 have been around for some time, while the DJI Phantom 3 Professional and the DJI Phantom 4 are more recent additions. The R&D team is constantly finding new ways to utilize drone usage in the construction industry. For example, drone flyover footage can now be converted into 3D BIM models using SmartReality.
About the Author
Howdy! My name is Tayler Kelsoe and I am a senior at Texas A&M, majoring in Industrial Distribution with a minor in Business Administration. I have been working as a Business Development Intern at JBKnowledge since the middle of May. During my time here, I have learned so much about technology, the construction industry, and business development as a whole. My role here has allowed me to develop communication and sales skills that I will be able to use for the rest of my career. This opportunity has created a desire within me to continue work in the construction industry after graduation.