BIM 360 Blog

New FAA Regulations Allow Construction Drones to Fly Freely

21st September 2016
Posted by Adam Higgins

Drones Continue to Change the Construction Industry 

Safer, faster, better, cheaper. Those are the goals of any construction project. An industry that has traditionally lagged in technology adoption, is rapidly making major advances, improving profitability and project outcomes by the use of UAV’s — aka CONSTRUCTION DRONES!

This isn’t big news for most people keeping a close eye on construction technology. However, what is BIG news is the FAA’s recent improvements in regulations allowing drones to fly more freely over many areas, including construction sites. This will surely expand drone usage across the board, and the FAA is already tracking & reporting registrations by county, for hobbyists and non-hobbyists alike (see below).





Here’s a recent Fortune interview on “How FAA Regulations are Impacting Drone Users”:


The Media Takes Notice

Houston-based CBS affiliate KHOU recently joined Autodesk and 3DR on a local 32-story midrise Austin Commercial project (see above video) to get a first hand look at what the 3DR’s Site Scan drones can do. Here’s a few quotes from that high-flying adventure:

“(By using a drone) Companies can get a better view, a safer view of their assets as opposed to hanging off a side of a building or using a manned helicopter.” said Jeremiah Johnson of 3DR


“Well, you know one of the issues on most construction jobs is knowing what is happening on the site. There’s a lot going on – materials, labor, equipment, moving all over the site. So, drones give us a picture, a vantage point that we can’t achieve in any other way.  [Drones] give us the ability to have situational awareness on site to know where things are.  We can actually use the data that drones capture to even measure what’s happening on site as well.  So it’s advantageous for surveillance of a site but it’s also advantageous to measuring what’s happening on the site in a very quick way.” – Tristan Randall of Autodesk


“On level 12 I’ve got brick. Does it line up with the brick on level 15 or 17? I’ll be able to know that in a click, instead of having to spend the time to go out and measure that.” – Joe Jones of Austin Commercial


“Looking at precision and verifying accuracy, to monitoring equipment movements, to just surveying sites on a daily or weekly basis.” Randall said. 


Read original KHOU article “Houston construction workers using drones after new FAA regulations passed”

Check out the Facebook Live video of all the drone fun they had (~9min)

Courtesy of Shern-Min Chow KHOU


What do you think about drones invading the construction site?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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