FAA grants Property Drone Consortium permission to fly small UAS at night


The Property Drone Consortium (PDC), which is a collaboration made up of insurance carriers, roofing industry leaders and supporting enterprises, has been granted an FAA waiver that allows it to fly small UAS at night.

The waiver requires adherence to several 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.

“We’re pleased to have been granted this waiver,” says Randall Ishikawa, newly elected President of the Property Drone Consortium. “Flying at night allows for testing of various sensors, and developing operating experience that could potentially come into play in post-catastrophic situations.”

Bryan Corder, Co-Chair of the PDC, says, “the PDC sees benefit in night time use of sUAS for emergency management. 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.”

The PDC represents a collaboration among insurance carriers, construction industry leaders and supporting enterprises who have agreed to work together to “promote research, development and the assessment of regulations” for the use of UAS technology across the insurance and construction industries.

Some of the founding member companies of the PDC include Allstate Insurance, American Family Insurance, and Auto-Owners Insurance. Technology members include the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), and Rochester Institute of Technology.