MIAMISBURG-- A local construction company is now the second in the U.S. allowed permission to fly commercial drones. Danis Buliding Construction is a large commercial builder in Southwest Ohio.
For Danis, drone approval means better safety for workers, and money savings for clients.
For the public, it means the drones will be seen at construction sites around the region.
Danis applied for FAA exemption in October 2014, and was approved to fly in April 2015.
The drone model they use allows for about an hour of flight time, and according to FAA regulations, flight paths up to 500 feet in the air.
The man piloting Danis' drone has 9 years flying experience, having spent 9 years on covert helicopter missions with the United States Marines.
"A lot of the capabilities you see here are the same capabilities you see in military drones," said Rob Mauro, the drone's pilot, also an engineer for Danis.
Danis' drone is strictly for visual prototyping use, and is only flown at the request and knowledge of the client.
"I think at first there's going to be a little bit of a taking back because there's some privacy issues," said Aaron Phillips, Danis' Director of Virtual Design and Construction,"You know... 'What's that drone doing above me- what's it taking pictures of'."
Danis says they will use the drone as a simple, cost effective way to get clients a better look at the construction progress.
It was recently used at Dayton Children's Hospital as they started a new construction project.
"We can get our drone flight up there, take pictures for inspections, or to visually confirm something has been installed, installed correctly," Phillips said.
"Logistics costs the client money," he continued, "Where these drones are really inexpensive at this point in time."
Danis says another big draw of using drones; keeping workers off big equipment and safe on the ground.
"We're really focused on not putting our people up in the air on lifts and cranes," Phillips said, "To view potentially hard to reach areas."
The proposal Danis wrote to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to gain drone approval was recently used in a congressional debate on allowing commercial drones into national airspace.
It is likely their model of use will be a model for companies seeking future approval.
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