We get asked this question all the time by our clients or prospects and the simple answer is yes they can. There’s a myth that you can’t fly a drone in a densely populated city like London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol, Manchester etc to capture survey grade accurate digital data for a site survey, building/structure inspection or 2D/3D data required for CAD/REVIT modelling. It’s simply incorrect.
Our special license from the CAA, an OSC (Operational Safety Case) allows us to carry out complex drone survey or inspection operations in heavily congested (urban) areas to within 20m of people, vessels, vehicles or structures outside of our control. This is further reduced to only 10m during take-off and landing.
Within London there are three areas where special permission is required from NATS, Diplomatic Protection Group and the Met Police to fly drones, they include Hyde Park (EG R157), City of London (EG R158) and Isle of Dogs/Canary Wharf (EG R159).
We have carried out numerous flights in cities across the UK capturing digital data for pre-acquisition surveys, due diligence surveys, planned maintenance programmes, dilapidation surveys or schedule of conditions etc. The digital data provides deeper data insights, better collaboration on projects, improves data deliverables to clients, while reducing costs and risks.
Drone technology can be used for different types of asset/portfolio surveys, for example residential, commercial or industrial roof, facade or building inspections. The digital outputs from drone technology can be as simple as geo-tagged HD images or video, to more complex outputs like a 3D point cloud, 3D textured model, 2.5D digital surface model (DSM), 2D orthomosaic or 2D Google KMZ files.