Drones ‘imperative’ to elevate the Saudi construction sector

Drones can be effective replacement for labour during the KSA’s COVID-19 recovery, says Rabih Bou Rashid, CEO, Falcon Eye Drones (FEDS)

Saudi Arabia’s construction sector will see a faster recovery if it utilises drones under the ‘new normal’ set-up, argues Rabih Bou Rashid of Falcon Eye Drones (FEDS).

The CEO of the leading provider of drone, data, and digital transformation technology firm believes drones are an imperative tool to, “ensure continuity of building operations in Saudi Arabia, whose construction sector has been thriving for the past years.”

“The pandemic has presented a considerable challenge to the construction sector in Saudi, which used to require a significant number of labourers. As the Kingdom contains the spread of the disease as a paramount concern, drones can help afford an effective alternative to guarantee the sector’s continuity of operations, while ensuring health and public safety,” he said.

Citing a recent report released by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Housing that revealed that the sector has surged by 8.03% in 2019 and help boost the Kingdom’s GDP by 12.6%, Bou Rashid said positive growth in the construction and housing sector during the first quarter indicates an economic recovery can be kick-started with the use of drones

According to Bou Rashid, more players in the GCC construction industry are utilising drones in getting their projects done while safeguarding the wellbeing of their workers. He noted that they regulate activities at a more economical, more precise and speedier pace than the conventional construction process.

Saving time and money

Bou Rashid estimates that drones can slash expenses by up to 11.8% in terms of monitoring the development of a construction project.

This is because drone technology allows them to detect slip-ups on a regular basis. The ability of drones to steadily monitor a construction status through recurring flights and high-resolution, accurate aerial view maps, he said, can help managers effortlessly mark potential challenges before they become exorbitant problems, and even save employees five hours a week on needless meetings, he argued.

“Drones can help avert costly errors as they help developers identify slip-ups prior to and during the construction, which — if left unchecked — can put a dampen on a project’s budget later on,” he said, noting that this can also decrease manual rework by 25%.

Bou Rashid also believes that drones can help developers save hours or even days in terms of plotting the site.

He added that prior to drones, firms need to rent a helicopter and fly over the areas just to capture images and map the site. With drones, contractors can collect the required data in a matter of minutes — downsizing time wastage by 18.4%. Bou Rashid said that the mini-air vehicles can boost worker productivity while cutting down the time spent on gathering the inventory of tasks by 32%.

Construction firms in the GCC are also turning to the technology because of the safety it provides contractors and labourers, he said.

“Their ability to operate with less human contact and provide precise data has made it possible for these companies to fully assure safety in its operations, especially now that the world is facing a global health crisis,” said Bou Rashid.

With drones being able to survey even the most hazardous and remote spots in just a matter of minutes, contractors can get detailed data footages from the safety of their office. They can even send updated precise information straight into a computer for fast-track evaluation, he noted.

“Saudi Arabia’s construction sector can definitely progress further with drones,” Bou Rashid affirmed. “The technology they possess can be truly vital in saving firms extra expenses, time, and effort. They can also help safeguard the wellbeing of workers, as well as provide more accurate data without spending a nickel and an hour of their time.”

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