Today, drones are moving into the world of construction and more generally into that of the building trade. With this technology, it is henceforth possible to perform multiple tasks faster and more economically than before, including the mapping of zones to contemplate the positioning of buildings, impact studies on the surrounding environment, thermal mapping of existing buildings to  contemplate renovation works to be done in case of an acquisition, active surveillance of sensitive sites, securing of construction sites, marketing promotion, creation of video content, visualisation of the progress of a structure and of a construction site. This technology is also beginning to be used for the transport of low volume and low weight items, such as seen with Amazon and Walmart in the United States. In the long run, this technology will be used in more industrial contexts such as accessing complicated zones to carry out delicate operations such as window cleaning, painting or plastering of façades, firefighting, rescue operations, etc.

As with all new industrial technologies, the theoretical and practical uses will little by little come closer in about fifteen years (if one compares that to the development of the internet, solar energy or LED light bulbs). At the end of this period already underway, the use of drones will be common and the early adopters will benefit from the “first mover” advantage (as with the GAFAM at the time).

New legal issues will arise around these new technologies for providers of services related to drones, users and citizens generally, including flight permits, privacy protection, ownership of the data created, personal data protection, liability, insurance…

As we have had the occasion to explain in previous articles, innovative technologies imported to the real estate ecosystem will attract with them new legal knowledge which must be injected into contracts, general terms and conditions of sale, as well as into the internal governance and bodies of businesses.

In parallel, these new topics are given particular attention by legislators at both the European and national levels, such that rapid legislative developments in these issues will require constant monitoring.

We reiterate that numerous of the new legal rules that will apply to the building universe can be sanctioned administratively, but also criminally, including the management of personal data, privacy right violations and mandatory administrative regulations.

From these findings and as a complement to specialised law firms such as DSM Avocats à la Cour, associations that assist operators in their analyses of these tools are little by little being created, such as (but not limited to) the APDL – Association pour la Protection des Données au Luxembourg or the brand new LDF – Luxembourg Drone Federation.

By Renaud LE SQUEREN, Partner – Avocat à la Cour, DSM Avocats à la Cour.