Drones may soon help officials in the Philippines cut through red tape and keep public-works projects on schedule.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III recently launched discussions with the Department of Public Works and Highways and the National Economic and Development Authority to investigate drone deployments that could monitor progress on public projects.
An unspecified fleet of drones would hover over sites and gather data and imagery, giving experts a bird’s-eye to determine if contractors are on schedule and meeting specs. The program would be used for government and private-public partnership projects such as road construction, Dominguez said.
Not only will drone imagery help officials keep an eye on construction projects, but members of the public would also be able to monitor progress. Aerial images and financial estimates would be loaded to a government website through the nation’s Freedom of Information Act.
“This will be open to the public and available to anyone who’s interested, both drone pictures, drone images, as well as financial contract information. This is going to be done in that fashion,” Dominguez said in a statement.
The proposed drone-inspection program is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s $160 billion (USD) plan to build more bridges, roads and air terminals across the Philippines.
Drone deployment in public-works and construction sectors has exploded in 2016. In October, the University of Texas announced a partnership with software developer Arcturus Business Solutions to improve drone-based aerial inspections of powerlines in India.
In September, the FAA approved a local government plan to map and inspect a 2,700-acre multi-use complex landfill in Ada County, Idaho using a 3DR drone. And, the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission recently announced plans to deploy a SenseFly Albris drone to inspect the Sandusky River Bridge.
According to a recent report by Wise Guy Consultants, global demand for inspection drones will “reach a cumulative market value of $20.5 billion and a total shipment of over 6.3 million units for 2017-2025 including sales of UAV hardware, software, and service spending.”