Drones in construction: an international review of the legal and regulatory landscape

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Increasingly, construction companies are using drone technology for a variety of purposes including conducting aerial surveys and monitoring the activities of staff and subcontractors on the construction worksite. As the technology develops newly adopted drone laws and the application of current laws to drone use are areas of concern as governments grapple to regulate the operators, manufacturers and systems. While the commercial benefits of using drones on the construction site are not fully understood or realized, companies need to keep abreast of changes to the legislation and regulations that govern drone usage. This paper reviews the regulatory and legal schemes for drone operation within the construction industry in the USA, UK, Japan, Australia and Hong Kong. Drone technology, infrastructure, regulations and standards are continually evolving, with collaborative research and development across all these areas. Whilst this offers exciting opportunities to private and public sectors worldwide, such rapid change and growth is a challenge for regulators, to ensure that regulation and infrastructure is in place in time to manage and meet these changes. The proposed research agenda offers a guide for future research on the legal aspects of drone operation for the construction sphere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-125
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of the ICE - Management, Procurement and Law
Issue number3
Early online date26 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2021


  • construction
  • regulations
  • law
  • drones


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