PS&H partner Drew Colby, who co-chairs the firm’s Construction Group, was quoted by Law360 in an article discussing what construction attorneys need to know about the use of drones on construction projects, in light of the fact that regulations haven’t yet caught up with how the technology is being used. Invasion of privacy continues to be one of the primary concerns.
Drones are being used increasingly in construction projects because they’re a cheaper and safer alternative than currently used verification procedures for activities including surveying, material estimation and getting a comprehensive view of the project. One way they’re being used is to develop estimates for stockpiled and removed materials. Using mathematical formulas or simple visual estimates has often been the basis for disputes.
“For example, whoever’s paying for the transportation of soil might complain that the trucking company underloaded its vehicles to charge more. If the contractor simply used the number of truckloads it moved as a basis for its billing, there could be a drawn-out fight, but accurate drone data is harder to dispute,” said Drew.
While the Federal Aviation Administration works to update regulations regarding unmanned aircraft technology, the best advice is for clients to ensure they’re following the existing restrictions regarding aspects such as drone flight hours, maximum altitude and limits to exactly where the drone may fly.
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