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How Drone Inspections are Helping Cities & Local Governments

Quickly making itself as ubiquitous in the English language as Xerox or Google, Drones have enormous potential in a wide array of industries but have simultaneously suffered from a love-hate relationship with local city governments and municipalities. While there have been numerous high-profile drone catastrophes, which raise genuine concerns, they represent a small percentage of drone operations, the vast majority of which contribute to enhancing and serving communities for the better. 

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Drones have been used to help firemen peer inside burning buildings, construction teams monitor sites for safety issues, and hospitals to transfer desperately needed medicine to distant regions, among other beneficial uses. Both commercial and recreational drone operations may have a significant positive impact on cities, a potential that should not be squandered due to the actions of a tiny number of reckless drone operators.

As a result of this overwhelming benefit, people ranging from realtors to inspectors to photographers and others are already utilizing drones to chronicle the environment around them, thanks to their rising accessibility and popularity. This technology has often replaced more dangerous procedures and spawned a new industry of inventors and entrepreneurs.

But. How can local governments and town municipalities benefit from drones? Here are five ideal use case examples: 

Drones for Law Enforcement


Although still in their infancy in law enforcement departments around the country, drones can potentially aid operations through tasks like crime scene photography, searching for missing persons, video surveillance and photography, hostage negotiation, traffic monitoring and more. For specialized agencies like the Border Patrol and Department of Corrections, drones add an extra layer of protection by providing vast amounts of visual data and information in real-time that allows officers and managers to make better, more informed decisions. 

Drones for Building Inspections


Building inspections are traditionally time-consuming and require specialized manpower and cumbersome equipment. Add to this the height of most modern buildings, and the job quickly becomes one where crew safety is a significant concern. Across the US, city planners and inspectors are realizing the speed, and efficiency drones bring to the table. Allowing them to inspect much more and in greater detail than ever before. 

Drones for firefighting


The recent spate of wildfires that swept through parts of the country was the perfect reason to deploy drones for firefighting. Able to withstand high temperatures that humans cannot, special fire-resistant drones can get deeper into fire-prone or active-fire areas and capture information that can make all the difference in putting out the fire. By controlling the drone in the safety of their vehicles, fire crews can quickly assess a situation, decide what is the best course of action to take, and deploy resources to manage the situation accordingly without wasting any time or putting human lives at risk. 

Drones for Powerline Inspection


Apart from the giant powerlines that bring power to cities from power stations located miles away, most cities in the US have a complicated network of above-ground and underground power cables that keep homes lit & warm, businesses humming, and essential services running. These in-city powerlines need regular inspections to watch for obstructions, damage, and other issues that used to require either a ground crew or an aerial crew to put themselves in harm's way. Smaller teams can inspect far more, quicker and more efficiently with a drone.

Drones for Roadway and Traffic Inspection


Roads are the arteries that keep a city alive. Any congestion due to an accident or natural calamity can quickly bring the city to its knees by hindering the flow of essential services. For small towns, manually surveying roads and traffic flow is usually the job of a small team. However, larger towns and cities need a more efficient way of investigating issues and surveying issues, especially with limited manpower and equipment on hand. Drones can quickly survey multiple areas within a short time, allowing city engineers to assess the severity and dispatch crews to where they're needed most.