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To Drone or Not to Drone? That Is the Question

from Construction Informer Blog

The advent of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) — drones — now seems to make aerial photography a far simpler and far less expensive aspect of construction projects. But is that really the case? Maybe not, because anyone using a drone for commercial purposes would have to conform with rules of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). A few of them are:
  • The need to obtain an FAA grant of exemption.
  • The requirement that aircraft weighing more than 0.55 lbs. must be registered with the FAA.
  • Those operating the drone need a recreational- or sport-class pilot’s license.
  • The drone must be kept within the operator’s line of sight and may not fly above 400 feet.
  • Drones may not fly within five miles of an airport without contacting the control tower before the flight.
Liability insurance will be needed, but you cannot have it until your drone use is approved by the FAA. (If you hire a drone aerial-photography company, ask to see its FAA-approval paperwork.) You also need skill: Do not operate a drone unless you are highly proficient. And be aware of camera issues (some cameras are just about worthless) and the need to transport drones on the ground to get from job to job. more


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