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June 27, 2016 — The following statement is from William Good, CEO, National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA):
The NRCA believes the new rules issued by the Federal Aviation Administration on the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, will provide significant new opportunities for the use of such aircraft in the roofing industry.
The new rule, which goes into effect in late August, will allow people with a "remote pilot in command" certification to operate drones for commercial and educational purposes, provided the drones weigh less than 55 pounds, do not exceed 100 miles per hour groundspeed, and don't fly more than 400 feet above ground level.
NRCA believes the final rule is a reasonable one and is especially pleased that the FAA listened to some of the concerns NRCA expressed during the rulemaking process.
The FAA rule contains a provision for waivers to some of its rules that, for example, should allow drones to be flown at night in situations where they don't pose any danger.
NRCA believes drone use can be of enormous benefit to the roofing industry over time. Drones can be used to evaluate existing roofs, help prepare estimates for new roofs, conduct thermal imaging, and even measure reflectivity performance. And the use of drones will mean fewer people will need to be exposed to rooftop hazards to conduct routine inspections.
For more information on the rule, contact Harry Dietz, NRCA's director of enterprise risk management at firstname.lastname@example.org.