Drones are taking off on construction sites across the world, and for good reason: they’re helping save time and money on every project. Looking to start flying drones on your site? Here’s how you can quickly get started:
Identify your stakeholders
To be successful, you first need to find an advocate for drones on-site: someone who will own the process and is excited about the possibilities that drones have to offer. Take time to identify the stakeholders and team members within your organization that are going to lead your UAV initiatives, and gauge their interest and ability. You’ll need to find someone that’s tech savvy and familiar with reality capture, which will likely be someone on your laser team who may have already used LiDAR for surveying.
Get FAA certified
Once you’ve identified your internal champion, get them FAA Part 107 certified so they’re able to fly drones on-site. They’ll need to take the Remote Pilot Certification test, which costs $150 per person and takes approximately 10 hours of studying. 3DR has created a number of helpful resources to help prepare for the test, including a study guide and practice exam. Alyssa Odom, a field engineer at PCL, shared her story on preparing for the Part 107 exam and getting certified as an FAA Remote Pilot. The Part 107 regulation is a complete game changer for the construction industry: it makes it easy for anyone to get started with drones and start flying as soon as possible, without needing a regular pilots license.
Once you find your internal stakeholders and get them certified as UAV pilots, your team is ready to bring drones on-site and can start flying immediately. At this point, determine what your specific use cases are with drones: perhaps you want to use them to survey a large area, report progress back to owners, or manage subcontractors. Whatever your goal is, now you’ll be able to start getting value out of drones in every project.