Drones have moved from the realm of sophisticated toy to that of a commercial tool. As more engineers and construction companies explore how drones can help them streamline operations, they must consider training to deal with the unique requirements that drones present. Education will play a vital role in ensuring engineering and construction firms understand the unique policy and regulatory environments surrounding drone technology.
Drone regulations still developing
A recent WITF report explained that the popularity of drones – not to mention their use in commercial settings – has risen to a point that drone use has outpaced the regulations that support the practice. The Federal Aviation Administration has been working to develop formal policies and procedures surrounding drone use, but there is still a great deal of work to be done. In particular, there are major challenges in clarifying the FAA’s Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which governs the steps that commercial entities must go through before beginning to use drones.
Getting a deeper understanding of these existing laws while also working to stay on top of emerging standards is incredibly important as engineers and contractors work to develop drone programs. Elearning makes this possible through engaging, streamlined online courses and webcasts that serve as live learning sessions that can help you untangle the murky regulatory environment around drone use.
Drone applications in engineering and construction
Getting drone policy training can be essential for engineers and contractors as drones can prove invaluable in diverse ways. Some of these methods include:
- Performing site surveys, particularly in hard-to-reach locations.
- Investigating damaged buildings that would be dangerous to inspect.
- Supervising job sites, even when you are unable to be there in person.
These types of drone applications can be invaluable assets for engineering and construction companies, allowing them to operate with higher levels of efficiency and effectiveness.
Furthermore, getting ahead in the drone game can help engineers and contractors get ahead of the competition. A study from the AUVSI found that, in the cases where the FAA has allowed for exceptions to support commercial drone use, general aerial surveying is the third-most prominent use case. Construction came in fifth. Moving forward on drone policy and regulations is going to be key if engineering and construction firms want to gain a competitive edge.