Over the last few decades, technology has enhanced our construction methods and the way we approach investigations and visual documentation. The rise of UAV (Unmanned Air Vehicle) drone technology has facilitated the process for aerial inspections of various building types by reducing the need to rent expensive access equipment to see those hard to reach places. However, there is a lot more to commercial drone piloting than showing up to a building with a drone.
To fly the drone, the designated Pilot must successfully complete the Transport Canada approved Restricted Operator certification program. This 20-hour course reviews a variety of topics including air law and procedures, navigation, meteorology, flight operations, human factors, and more. For each flight, the Pilot is responsible for reviewing the plan of operation, emergency plan, and the security plan with all relevant parties. This will include the areas where the drone will be operated, traffic control, pedestrian or occupant management, and locations of each observer and site security personnel to ensure the safety of all individuals on site.
On all of our jobsites, safety is our number one priority. Before taking flight, we complete a hazard assessment to ensure the safety of both people and equipment within the area of operations. We need to consider the following areas:
- Defining operational boundaries
- People within the boundaries of our operation
- Operator and project manager – working in a safe position free from hazards such as traffic, etc.
- Inclement weather
- Other individuals in the area – such as tenants, clients, construction or other workers, bystanders,
- Local by-law restrictions
- Physical obstacles such as trees, overhead wires, balconies, building overhangs, vehicles, etc.
As the final requirement before we arrive on site, we must alert the property manager to provide notice to the building occupants. This prevents any surprises for occupants or concerns about personal privacy. Once informed, occupants may take any privacy precautions needed, such as closing the blinds or not using the balcony during this time.
To conclude, as I don’t intend to drone on, by following laws and regulations associated with UAV drone flight, we are able to create a safe environment for our workers, tenants, pedestrians, clients, and subtrades while using this more time- and cost-effective method of investigation.
Michaela Zehr – Operations Coordinator
Brick & Co Restorations Ltd.