You are reading

City Council Passes Bill to Study Use of Drones for Building Facade Inspections

(Photo by Goh Rhy Yan on Unsplash)

Sept. 17, 2020 By Allie Griffin

The City Council passed a bill Wednesday that will require the city to explore the use of drones for building facade inspections.

The bill, co-sponsored by Northeast Queens Council Member Paul Vallone, will require the Department of Buildings (DOB) to study the safety and feasibility of using drones to inspect building facades for damage.

Owners of buildings over six stories tall must conduct a facade inspection and make repairs every five years, under local law.

The newly-passed bill will move New York City a step closer to improving its outdated technology laws, Vallone said.

“An outdated local law, drafted decades before the advent of what are popularly known as ‘drones,’ is leaving New York City on the ground while other cities are already using rapidly advancing technologies to support business and improve safety,” Vallone said.

Drones also have the potential to improve safety, reduce costs and save time, he added.

Drone inspections would help co-op and condo boards who pay large sums for current facade inspections. The use of drones would significantly lower their expenses, he said.

However, another law would have to be changed for the study to become a reality. Drones are currently outlawed in New York City.

Vallone is working with Speaker Corey Johnson to explore legislation that would be required to move forward with legalizing drone use in New York City.

“The city must set parameters for commercial and recreational unmanned aerial vehicle usage,” said Vallone. “Further inaction would mean we are turning a blind eye on an outdated rule of law.”

Experts in the building and construction industry also want to see the legalization of drones in New York City.

“Drones offer a 21st-century solution to provide more detailed building inspections, increase public safety and reduce costs,” said Carlo Scissura, President & CEO of the construction trade group, New York Building Congress. “New technologies, like drones, are already being used effectively around the country and the world, so it is essential that New York embrace innovation and not be left behind.

The bill takes effect immediately and the study must be completed no later than Oct. 31, 2021.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force investigating vandalism at Forest Hills church that has been targeted in the past

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a case of criminal mischief at a Forest Hills house of worship in which a vandal threw a rock to intentionally damage its glass front door, according to authorities.

Police say that just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, police from the 112th Precinct were called to Grace Lutheran Church, located at 103-15 Union Tpke., after a man threw a rock and damaged the church’s front door.

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.