The Use Of Drones in Construction - UAE

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Drones are quite a handy invention of the 21st century. We have seen many advancements in this technology, and even today more researches and experiments are being done to measure and improve their capabilities. There are many different applications for this one small device, that are being processed globally. One main feature of drones is photography. You can easily capture moments of big gatherings or a beautiful scenery, quite easily by flying a remote controlled camera drone over it. Nowadays, it's being used for media footages all around the world as well, and even for deliveries. 

Today, you'll even find these devices flying around near construction sites. This might seem a little arbitrary, to some. But these are quite helpful for contractors and workers to keep track of things and get work done more efficiently. 


But How Do Drones Help?

A typical project runs over budget, behind schedule. Drones help close the gap. They offer a safe alternative to one of the most critical phases of construction. Builders use drones to collect real-time data about projects, as they can hover even around remote and risky spots to gather clips of the construction site. This helps them better understand what’s happening on site. Aerial insights improve progress tracking and help catch problems early on as well. Project managers are leading the charge to bring drones to the job site. 

Drone software systems can provide convenient and time saving desk top or mobile device access to job site conditions and help facilitate rapid assessment and response to developments in the field.  In addition to GPS and high resolution cameras, drones can be equipped with advanced technologies, such as LiDAR (remote sensing pulsed laser to detect objects and measure distances), or thermal, moisture, or gas sensors. With the right software, users can integrate imagery and data into CAD, BIM or other 3D models or use drones in conjunction with other tools, such as land based 3-D laser surveying and equipment and inventory tracking devices.  After the construction project is completed, the imagery can be useful to construction counsel in post-project dispute resolution and for owners to promote sales and leasing of the completed project.


How Do They Fare In The Emirates?

The use of drones is quite simple, and straight forward. The advantages, also laid out straight. But these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles aren't just a convenience for us, but can also be used for assistance in wrong-doings. It's a complicated matter that can be summarised into these few points:

- Drones shouldn't be used to invade others' privacy
- Drones shouldn't be flown over sensitive government areas
- Drones should be kept out of no-fly zones

There's obviously a much detailed pattern to it. But this is a very simplified gist of the responsibilities that come, with operating the device. On the surface, it's just a harmless tool. But in the wrong hands, it can also prove to be a potentially invasive menace. This is why there was a need for regulations regarding the use of such devices, on construction sites and elsewhere.

It is important that construction lawyers become familiar with the use of drones, contracting and insurance considerations when drones are to be used on projects, and how data generated by drones can be used by counsel to prove or disprove construction claims. 

The General Civil Aviation Authority regulates civil aviation in the Emirates. They've applied a bunch of rules and regulations for the better use of drones around the country. There's licensing, registration, no-fly zones, and other related matters, that have been layed out by the GCAA. Following are some of the things you should adhere to for using drones in the UAE:

- Make sure to avoid all no-fly zones, like airports and residential areas.
- Get a no-objection certificate from the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (if you plan on using a drone in Dubai)
- Register your drone to get an ESMA certificate

You can find the complete guidelines for flying drones in the UAE, at the government's official website. There are more details there, that can surely help you better understand what to do and what to avoid.

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