The new Part 107 FAA Rules took effect on Monday, August 29, 2016. Unlike the previous requirements for flying a drone commercially, the new rules are much simpler and more permissive of a broad amount of commercial drone usage. But still, to launch a drone on your construction site, there are various practical considerations through which a project owner, contractor, and design professional must parse. From use notices to ownership of the electronic data to drone insurance, it is still very much the Wild West out there.
But drones are ideal for supporting the full life cycle of the development process—from design to construction to maintenance. First and foremost, drones can venture where humans and heavy machinery should not, providing valuable project data without risking human life.