News & Press

Recent Drone Rules Viewed as ‘Big Win’ for Industry

The new small commercial drone rules released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last month have widely been welcomed by the construction industry as a reasonable, practical approach to monitoring the fast growing use of drones.

The long-awaited new rules apply to drones weighing less than 55 pounds, and go into effect August 29, 2016. The FAA limited those drones’ use to daylight hours and to a maximum altitude of 400 feet. They stipulate that drones not exceed speeds of 100 mph. Among the other recently released FAA regulations in its “Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule (Part 107)”:

  • Operators must be 16 years or older.
  • Requires preflight inspective by the remote pilot in command.
  • Operators must keep the drone in their line of sight.
  • Drone may not operate over other persons not directly participating in the operation.
  • Drone may not carry hazardous materials.

Visit the FAA website for a complete list of the new drone rules that were issued on June 21, 2016. 

Industry renowned technology expert James Benham, CEO of JBKnowledge, Inc., the upcoming keynote speaker at AGC of California’s Annual Conference in Monterey this October, called the new rules a “huge win” for the construction industry.

“I think they did a great job of streamlining the regulations of what you need to fly. We were concerned (FAA) would clamp down hard, but they took a very reasonable approach with very practical rules,” Benham commented. “It will result in even more propagation of drones, which already are a major game changer in the industry. They are huge for anyone having to do any jobsite inspections.”

For more on Benham’s take on the impact of drones as well as various other technology trends in the construction industry, look for the upcoming technology focus issue of AGC’s California Constructor magazine coming out in early September 2016.