Developers, construction industry lobby to legalize drones in NYC

Drones could help save hundreds of thousands of dollars in inspection costs

New York /
Jul.July 16, 2019 10:45 AM
New York Building Congress president and CEO Carlo Scissura (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

New York Building Congress president and CEO Carlo Scissura (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

Did New York City ban drones in… 1948?

Yes, according to the current interpretation of a 71-year-old law that restricts the take off and landing of “aircraft” to Port Authority-designated locations, i.e. airports. As the commercial drone industry has taken flight in other U.S. cities in the wake of a 2016 rule change from the Federal Aviation Administration, real estate leaders say this rule is now holding NYC developers back.

“The laws on the books are not written for these new, disruptive technologies,” New York Building Congress president and CEO Carlo Scissura told the Wall Street Journal. “The cities that are doing this will always have a leg up on us.

The Building Congress is joining other industry groups — and of course, the drone industry — in an effort to lobby city officials to amend the law. Although legislation legalizing drones was introduced in City Council early last year, it has been stuck in committee since then.

One way supporters say drones could benefit the real estate industry is by greatly reducing the cost of inspections. New York building owners are required to conduct facade inspections every five years, which typically requires scaffolding over almost an entire building.

Drones with cameras could potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs, as well as months of time. Some engineers are sceptical, however, noting that visual inspection is often not sufficient to detect facade issues.

Scissura says he expects the NYPD to be among the biggest opponents of drone legalization. A department spokeswoman told the Journal that safety will have to be a priority, given the threat of terrorism and the city’s dense population. [WSJ] — Kevin Sun


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Procore CEO Tooey Courtemanche (Procore, Getty)
Procore acquiring construction management startup Levelset for $500M
Procore acquiring construction management startup Levelset for $500M
Builders broke ground on more residential properties in August than had been predicted, but the number of single-family housing starts fell below expectations. (iStock)
August housing starts rose but single-family properties fell short
August housing starts rose but single-family properties fell short
Alex Rodriguez and Constantine Scurtis of Lynd (Getty)
A-Rod gets 13 lawsuits dismissed that were filed by ex-brother-in-law over real estate empire
A-Rod gets 13 lawsuits dismissed that were filed by ex-brother-in-law over real estate empire
Homebuilders are more confident in home sales than they’ve been in the last three months (Getty)
Homebuilder sentiment rose in September, ending three-month decline
Homebuilder sentiment rose in September, ending three-month decline
The Saratoga County construction company owner defrauded homebuyers and lenders out of $1 million, spending money on himself or other jobs rather than the homes he promised to build. (iStock)
Upstate homebuilder gets prison for failing to deliver
Upstate homebuilder gets prison for failing to deliver
1223 East New York Avenue with Carlyle Group's Jason Hart (Google Maps, Carlyle Group)
Carlyle Group scores $32M construction loan for Crown Heights storage facility
Carlyle Group scores $32M construction loan for Crown Heights storage facility
For the first time this year, homebuilders received a respite from rising materials costs, driven by a drop in softwood lumber. (iStock)
Homebuilders finally get a break on material costs
Homebuilders finally get a break on material costs
A crackdown on mob activity has brought to light the alleged shakedown of a construction union based in Queens. (iStock)
Colombo mob boss arrested over alleged construction union shakedown
Colombo mob boss arrested over alleged construction union shakedown
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...