While drone photography and filming seems to have taken over the Internet, and drones continue to buzz through the news on a regular basis, the real potential of the drone has yet to be realized.

Based on latest market research, drone services global market will reach $127 billion by 2020. With Infrastructure topping the list, followed by Precision Agriculture, Transportation and many other industries.

The construction industry has existed in one form or another for as long as man has walked the earth. Thanks to advances in modern technology things like bridges, buildings, canals, parks and more can be built faster than ever.

Many construction companies are catching on to the fact that drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), can play a pivotal and extremely helpful role in the construction industry.

There are several ways that drones are commonly used in construction projects.

Mapping & Surveying

GIS_LayerUntil just a few years ago, land surveying was a complicated and expensive part of construction. Expensive equipment had to be leased and multiple contractors had to trek into what was often uncharted territory. While there is still no substitute for boots on the ground in some circumstances, drone innovation has made land surveys much more cost-effective and efficient. Drones not only allow you to get a general idea about property; they can provide you with much-needed details regarding the landscape and surrounding areas. This cuts down on equipment and manpower costs, and it offers contractors the ability to make well-informed estimates and decisions prior to accepting contracts or breaking ground.

Marketing & Promotion

For a construction project to be successful it needs to have clients. Savvy construction companies use drones to film aerial shots of the area prior to development. Along with scale models and 3D renderings of the finished product, sky-high shots of the area from multiple angles help potential clients visualize the transformation of the barren land.

If you want to stand out to potential clients and help them see how their ideas can become reality, you should seriously consider adding drone photography and videos to your arsenal of sales tools. This strategy can also be used to convince communities and task forces of the viability of your project.


Properly mapping out a construction site takes a lot of time, and time is money. Every day spent mapping is another day not building. Drones can do a job in a fraction of the time a team of people could do it, and if needed continue doing it for a realtime mapping as the project proceeds.

Drones can map with incredible detail, thanks to their airborne versatility. 3D modeling, contour line maps and progress forecasting models are just a few. Construction companies budget accuracy mistakes into their bids with the assumption that there will be an error somewhere along the line. Drones could drastically reduce or eliminate those errors.

The safety component is huge. Rather than sending employees into a risky environment to collect data or perform inspections, drones can serve this purpose.

Showing Job Progress to Clients

Clients fund construction projects, but they can also impede progress by incessantly showing up on-site with shiny boots and ill-fitting hard hats. To appease clients and to prevent them from interfering with ongoing work, use a drone to film the site regularly.

If the client is constantly receiving videos and images of the progress being made, you’ll be able to spend more time on the actual work than you would if you were forced to babysit the financiers. Drones are also a helpful way to provide updates to clients who are unable to visit the area. It’s advisable to only film areas that are making good progress, unless the client stipulates otherwise.


Construction Inspection

Inspections are a major part of construction. Not only are there federal, state and local codes that must be strictly adhered to, but clients and public interest groups often play a major role in construction project inspections. If you want to avoid needless distractions and potential delays, use a drone equipped with a camera/video recording device to inspect every nook and cranny of the site.

You can deploy a drone to show you what things look like on the roof of a skyscraper under construction or to give you an idea of how a tunnel is progression. Bridges between large chasms are prime locations to take advantage of drones. You can even use a drone to hover around the perimeter of a site to show you how closely the actual site resembles the model and/or blueprints.

Realistically, no matter what sort of project is underway, inspections can be made safer, faster and easier through drone use.

Clearly, drones are improving the construction industry in multiple ways. We should only expect UAV technology to improve with time, thus making construction projects safer and more affordable for everyone involved.

Drones are on the rise

While the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in the States only recently announced rules around commercial use for UAVs, Transport Canada has allowed for commercial drone use with a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) for some time now.

With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, equipment becomes outdated quickly – possibly before the return is realized. That makes the service provider option particularly attractive. A skilled operator can also reduce the risk of damage or injury.