Drones set to be used in New York building inspections

Plans have been outlined for legislation that would allow drones to inspect buildings in New York City.

The plans have been announced after architect Erica Tishman was recently killed by falling debris.

"The death of Erica Tishman tells us that we must move our technology and embrace technology to find a safer way to inspect buildings," said Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams. "Using drones would take us to a new height in carrying out that inspection."

"It is not a toy, it is a tool," he added. "These tools will save millions of dollars, save time, but most importantly it could actually save lives."

It is not a toy, it is a tool

The legislation would mean that an inspection would take place within 2 days of a complaint or a violation of a Department of Buildings code. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) would also be able to use drones for initial inspections of a building’s facades and rooftops.

Current laws in New York mean that drones are forbidden from flying across the five boroughs. Although there are a few designated areas where it is allowed in Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Forest Park in Queens; Marine Park and Calvert Vaux Park; and La Tourette Park on Staten Island.

Drones have been featured prominently in the news over the last couple of years. Gatwick Airport was famously at a standstill in December 2018 due to a suspected drone incident before Heathrow Airport ground to a halt only a month later due to the presence of drones.

New uses for drones are constantly being explored. Uber have been developing airborne taxis, while drone-equipped hospitals could also be on the horizon.

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