Drones could be used for NYC building inspections

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New York City officials are considering the use of drones for building inspections, after the tragic death of Erica Tishman, a 60-year-old project manager and architect struck by falling debris as she walked near a mid-town building in December.

The tragic incident happened on Dec. 17, at the corner of West 49th Street and Seventh Avenue near Times Square on Dec. 17, police said. The building at 729 Seventh Ave. is owned by Himmel + Meringoff Properties.

Now, with support from Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Councilmember Justin Brannan says he will introduce two City Council bills early this year related to drone technology. One would require a drone inspection be completed within 48 hours of a facade-related 311 complaint or Department of Building violation, and the second would authorize the New York City Housing Authority to use drones for initial facade inspections on NYCHA developments.

“We have the tools to stop the endless proliferation of scaffolding around our city, which is costly and affects quality of life,” Adams wrote on Twitter. “Drone inspections are   on to urge NYC Council to fast track the legislation allowing drone inspections and to not let “antiquated thinking or laws get in the way of progress.

Currently, drone use is illegal in the city core.

“Government in the 21st century can no longer be reactive; it must be proactive,” Adams said in a press release.

“The new legislation I am introducing with Councilmember Justin Brannan will make building inspections more cost-effective, saving building owners and the City millions of dollars, it will help us take down sidewalk sheds that often stay up for years, and most importantly, it will keep New Yorkers safe,” he said.

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