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Developers fighting to legalize Drone use in NYC

In recent years drones have been popping up everywhere. They first made it to the scene by helping realtors market their listings better with the use of aerial photography and videography, but now we are learning that there is much more you can do with drones that make expensive jobs more affordable and also reduce liabilities. More specifically construction. Using drones in the construction industry helps developers with survey-grade maps and models, get accurate measurement data of their stockpiles or how deep the holes they are digging is.

Here in NYC developers understand and they see how cost-efficient using drones for their construction sites is. The unfortunate part is that flying drones in NYC is illegal. In 1948 there was a law that was passed that states that all aircraft take off and land in a location designated for flight by the Port Authority—namely airports. This effectively prohibits drones from flying within city boundaries, despite the Federal Aviation Administration’s 2016 rule that legalized commercial drone use. A New York City website directs anyone who spots the unmanned aerial vehicles in flight to report it to the police immediately. This puts local developers at a competitive disadvantage.

Due to this crazy 70-year-old law, it prohibits not only developers but also roof inspectors and building inspectors to name a few from using technology that could save them money long term.

As a sUAS (drone) commercial and hobbyist operator I can understand the issues NYC has about the use of drones from "privacy" issues ( I use quotes because legally kind of sort of don't have privacy I'll give context in a later post) and the illegal use of drone ie using a drone as a weapon. The only problem I have with NYC is that it hinders part 107 pilots like myself from scaling our businesses.

Come on NYC get with the program drones are here to stay and they are only advancing. Legalize at least the commercial use of drones. There is a reason why we have to take a test to be certified and understand airspace.

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