Drones are being used more frequently for construction projects and not just for surveying and roof inspections. Drone usage has increased as a marketing tool, to monitor construction progress in real time and keep an eye on employees. Using updated methods as a contractor can lower construction costs and provide help to stay on a timeline so projects can avoid cost overruns due to delays.
In the Trump administration, with Elaine Chao possibly serving as Secretary of Transportation, rules and regulations governing the use of drones may change also, making them easier to use in construction projects. Being versed in the latest rules and regulations governing contractors is one reason contractor school helps, along with completing continuing education requirements for license renewal.
Current Regulations for Drone Usage
Because drone usage is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration, certain requirements must be met to operate a drone. Part 107 of the regulations provides for commercial use of drones and makes it much easier than the original law. Before the addition of Part 107, owner/operators for commercial use of a drone had to apply for an exemption and then wait for approval.
New Rules for Commercial Use of Drones
Part 107 allows drones under 55 pounds that have a registration number and are FAA registered. Flying a drone at night is prohibited, speed must be under 100 mph and a drone may not fly above 400 feet. Although the drone does not require a certificate that guarantees airworthiness, the FAA does require that the pilot conduct a safety test before each use.
Drone Use Can Save Money
Using drones during a construction project can translate into money saved. Safety can be increased and can result in lower costs for insurance. For example, by using a drone for roof inspections, safety equipment is not required, and the company does not need to send a man up to do the inspection, which saves those costs as well as ensures that an accident will not occur. Drones can also perform safety inspections of construction sites to check for unstable construction or dangers, so problems can be fixed before an accident occurs. In the area of sales, videos and aerial photography using a drone can be used, along with 3D models, to show a prospective client how the construction will look when the project is completed. This can be a valuable tool to get chosen for a project.
Drone pilots must be licensed by passing an exam and drones must remain within sight of the operator. In addition, drones cannot fly over people. The FAA is issuing waivers for the rules as long as the drone operator can show that the drone would be operated safely. With a change in administration, rules for drone operation may become easier, making it an even more valuable asset to the construction industry.
How Continuing Education Helps a Contractor
Contractors are required to complete continuing education requirements through a contractor school in order to renew a license. The number of credits and mandatory classes required can vary depending on the state. One of the positive aspects of taking continuing education is that a contractor can learn about the latest rules, regulations and advancements in the construction industry, and harness that knowledge to improve the business and avoid problems.
PDH Contractor Academy offers online and correspondence classes for contractors to complete their educational requirements in multiple states. Because study courses are through long-distance learning, contractors can choose where and when to study at their own convenience. Once a contractor has successfully completed the courses, PDH Contractor Academy notifies the appropriate state board of the results and furnishes the contractor with a completion certificate for his or her own files. Our competitive pricing, support system for any assistance a contractor might need and list of courses from which a contractor may choose makes PDH a good choice. For more information on what courses are offered, along with pricing, browse courses by state.