The Drone Debate Hovers Over Co-ops and Condos The Latest on Drone Regulations

Drones: destined to be the scourge of the skies? Or a brilliant convenience that allows people to complete everyday tasks from the comfort of their computers? Only time will tell, but some co-op denizens are already rooting for the latter.

Glen Oaks Village is a garden apartment co-op aptly located in Glen Oaks, Queens, consisting of 134 two- and three-story buildings spread over 110 acres. This type of sprawl can make routine maintenance, like inspecting gutters for leaf blockage or checking for chimney and roof damage, nearly herculean. Workers need to ascend and descend ladders several hundred times to canvass the property.

Technobot

Not one to be satisfied with the status quo, Glen Oaks Village Board President Bob Friedrich surmised that there had to be a better way. Figuring he could use technology to minimize both risk and labor, late last year he rallied both the board and maintenance committee to invest in a reasonably priced drone to take the burden off workers’ shoulders.

“It’s been fantastic,” enthuses Friedrich. “We fly the drone above the roof line, and we can go building by building to check gutters. We might find that, out of 134 buildings, only 16 have leaf blockage, and thus we only send men up to that small portion of the property for maintenance.”

In addition to reducing safety concerns, the drone has proven cost-effective. “One-hundred-thirty-four buildings means 134 chimneys,” Friedrich explains. “The only way to review them with any scrutiny involves scaffolding. Most co-ops rarely even check their chimneys. But now we can do everything with the drone, and it eliminates that scaffolding expense.”

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