The Property Drone Consortium (PDC), a collaboration of insurance carriers, roofing stakeholders and supporting enterprises, has been granted a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) waiver for conducting drone flights at night.
PDC says its members work together to promote research and development and the assessment of regulations for the use of small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) technology across the insurance and construction industries.
“We’re pleased to have been granted this waiver,” says Randall Ishikawa, newly elected president of the consortium. “Flying at night allows for testing of various sensors and developing operating experience that could potentially come into play in post-catastrophic situations.”
Founding member companies include Allstate Insurance, American Family Insurance, Auto-Owners Insurance, EagleView Technologies, Erie Insurance and Pilot Catastrophe Services Inc. Technology members include the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, and the Rochester Institute of Technology. The National Roofing Contractors Association is an honorary member.
PDC notes that the Part 107 waiver requires adherence to a number of provisions, including using a visual observer, flying with anti-collision lighting on the platform, and flying in Class G airspace, as well as compliance with all other Part 107 provisions.
“The PDC sees benefit in nighttime use of sUAS for emergency management,” comments Bryan Corder, co-chair of the PDC. “The ability to fly sUAS at night extends the number of properties that can be examined for damage in a given period of time while minimizing potential risk for non-participants, allowing for quicker review of claims and issuing of a much-needed settlement check for distressed homeowners.”