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Drone etiquette at construction sites

In the past few years I have picked up a few pointers working at construction sites with my drone. I will share what I have learned being an aerial data acquisition engineer, aka drone pilot.

Living in San Diego there is plenty of construction always going on, in every neighborhood, down almost every road. Some is small construction, but many are multi-acreage construction sites. We will focus on the larger construction sites where drone services is in more demand. The benefits of using aerial services at construction site

include: marketing, progress reporting to investors/owners, site management, risk mitigation, and to have a more holistic view of the entire work site.


Let's get down to the drone etiquette - we are only covering basics here. First and foremost, your work clothes is what make you comply to OSHA safety standards; you will need work boots (no tennis shoes / vans /, etc ) or work shoes with a steel or composite toe protector.

Second, you will need work pants like Levis or carpenter jeans, but no sweats, yoga pants, or any other material that offers minimal protection to your legs. Long sleeve shirts are recommended at some sites, but not mandatory. What is mandatory at all work sites is a high-visibility work vest - this will prevent you from being run over from that overly tired dump-truck driver. Since you are flying a drone at a work site, safety goggles are also a must. Lastly, a hard helmet is required at almost all large construction work sites. Gloves are required for a lot of other professions, but not for pilots as we need our finger dexterity to maintain the sensitivity of the controls.


There are other procedures that we do prior to arriving at a site, such as e-mailing the superintendent and letting them know our arrival/flight time. This will give the crew a heads up that an authorized drone pilot is working on the site with full permission.


While flying, be courteous to heavy machine operators and other workers.

Always setup in an area that is not in the way of construction operations, and set up a proper launch and landing area.


Most importantly, feel grateful that you are droning at the work site and more work sites will come!


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