Using Drones to Ensure Regulatory Compliance

Using Drones to Ensure Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory compliance is gradually becoming crucial in many industries such as healthcare, clinical research, maritime, and manufacturing. The term refers to the programs that organizations create to meet safety regulations, environmental regulations, and other specifications necessary to the business.

Because violations of compliance regulations often lead to costly fines and complex legal punishment, organizations continuously find tools that will make regulatory compliance as easy, cost-effective, and fault-free as possible. This is where drones come in.

According to Goldman Sachs, the UAV market will reach $100 billion within 5 years. The largest use of commercial drones will be in the construction industry. But how will drones be used to ensure regulatory compliance?


Large construction projects are costly, complicated, and labor- and time-intensive. Drones can fly above the construction job site to monitor safety standards and document compliance with environmental laws quickly and cheaply.

With drones, you won’t need the more expensive helicopter service to get the job done. Drones are a much more convenient, safer, and cheaper alternative when you need aerial photography.


Agriculture is but one of the many industries that emit greenhouse gas. Drones that carry optical sensors can help the industry comply with Greenhouse Gas Reporting. They can provide accurate measurements of methane and nitrous oxide gas emissions. Drones may also be used to ensure streamlined regulatory compliance in the following key areas:

  • Oil Pollution Prevention
  • National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
  • Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA)
  • National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAP)
  • Facility Response Plan (FRP)
  • Clean Air Act
  • Risk Management Program and Plan (RMP)


Drones can be used by the mining industry to ensure regulatory compliance through landslide zone assessment, no-go area surveys, pipeline and conveyor belt monitoring and surveillance, and fleet management.

In Poland, the Geoprojekt Company used a Pix4D Mapper and drones to take photogrammetric measurements of the Obora mine near Lubin City. This allowed accurate calculations of dump and pit volumes. Drones are, therefore, useful in evaluating the volume of minerals mined to make sure that a mining company is not exploiting mineral deposits.

Maritime Industry

Maritime transportation is one of the dominant sources of nitrogen oxide and sulfur oxide emissions, two global environmental issues of today. Due to this, authorities enforce maritime sulphur regulations.

While the coastguards and port authorities can test ship emission levels before sailing, they lack resources in terms of catching transgressors. That is until the emergence of the sniffer drone. These drones can hover above Emission Control Areas (ECAs) to make sure ships comply with the international Sulfur emission regulations.

Right now, more than 450,000 drone owners registered themselves to the Federal Aviation Administration. Drones are one of those digital disruptors that businesses need to pay attention to.

From real estate videography to industrial inspection and regulatory compliance, drones are now being integrated into business operations. They offer a great promise to all industries. It is no wonder the concept of “drones as a service” is rapidly catching fire.