drone commercial

Drone Technology in Commercial Surveying – The Pros & Cons

November 6, 2020 5:11 pm Published by

In the last decade, Drone technology has completely transformed the way in which Commercial Surveyors conduct property inspections. The accessibility and remote access that these devices have provided our property experts with has allowed them to carry out far more detailed inspections with an increased ease.

Nevertheless, despite their many advantages, this technology also comes with several disadvantages that can hinder the inspection process.

That is why the team here at Commercial Surveyors Direct have put together the following article, to guide you through the various pros and cons of Drone related technology…


Firstly, as we just mentioned, these devices have the unique ability to be controlled autonomously by the Surveyor. Meaning that they can also be programmed to fly over a specified area and obtain all the relevant images of the site. Furthermore, because of the advanced technology used by many of these gadgets, the pictures and/or videos produced are high-quality and incredibly detailed (in some cases these can even be used to draw-up detailed 3D maps of a building and the surrounding area).

In addition, the Drones can also assist the surveyor in accessing difficult or dangerous areas of a property. For example, any rooftops, roadways, or dilapidated areas (especially those in crowded cities and towns).

These benefits not only impact the surveyor’s job, but they also extend to the final report received by the client. More specifically, the emphasis on images rather than complicated jargon or technical language means that the customer can qualify any written descriptions with clear visual data.


Nevertheless, there is a real risk that the accessibility and image capturing technology used by these gadgets could be significantly hindered by weather conditions. Whilst surveyors can conduct their inspection despite wind, rain, or fog, a drone may be unable to operate under such circumstances.

What is more, the operator may be discouraged to do so because of the expenses associated with such gadgets. Whilst the affordability of these Drones is steadily improving, many of the high-end models required for the Commercial sector remain costly. And this is without considering the time and money that must be spent training the surveyor to use it. For instance, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) now requires anyone that is using a Drone for commercial purposes to also obtain a restricted or full National Qualified Entities (NQE). When combined with all the necessary registration and insurance fees, this process can incur high costs before the gadgets are even put to practical use.

To learn more about the requirements of the CAA, simply visit their website here.

Finally, one of the major issues that is currently affecting the use of Drones in commercial surveying are the legal disputes surrounding their use. For instance, due to recent events, one the major points of contention involve the ever changing rules about where they can be flown. A mistake on this front can lead to hefty fines or even legal action – not to mention the issues of privacy that could potentially be in breach. This is an especially major concern when the property being inspected is situated within a heavily built up area.

CAA Drone Law Update: On 31 December 2020 the UK moves to a new set of rules for unmanned aircraft. For many people the basic rules on their day-to-day flying won’t change but there are some important amendments that users need to be aware of. Discover More

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If you are interested in a commercial valuation, feel free to contact us by telephone on 0808 169 8881 or email via info@csdrealestateappraisers.co.uk 

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This post was written by Liz Graney