Webinar: How Hobart Council pioneered their Drone Program
In 2018, Hobart City Council embarked on an innovative path, integrating drone technology into their services. Craig, a long-standing member of the council, spearheaded the program, aiming to enhance service delivery and address challenges like the devastating May floods.
This strategic shift not only marked a transition in roles but also showcased the versatile applications of drones in public service.
Check out the full interview below!
Versatile Applications: Beyond Traditional Uses
The council's drone program rapidly expanded from simple internal uses to a multifaceted tool employed in surveying, compliance, and even fire management. Their approach was comprehensive, leveraging drones for various tasks including rooftop inspections, bushfire management using thermal imaging, and even media coverage. Notably, drones played a crucial role in live streaming events like the New Year's Eve fireworks, a creative solution amidst COVID-19 restrictions.
Emphasizing Safety and Regulatory Compliance
Safety and adherence to regulations were paramount in the council's drone operations. Navigating complex certification processes and regulatory frameworks was challenging but essential for lawful and safe drone usage. The council's commitment to understanding and abiding by these regulations underscored their dedication to responsible drone use.
Pioneering Night Operations and Expanded Capabilities
The council's drone program evolved to include night operations and beyond visual line of sight flights, significantly broadening their operational capabilities. This progression required meticulous planning, particularly considering the impact on emergency helicopter flights and community safety.
Funding Innovations and Expanding Horizons
Grants played a pivotal role in the development of the council's drone program. Investments in drones, like the m300, proved cost-effective and efficient. The transition to Fly freely software enhanced operational features and support, further streamlining their processes. The council's ambitious vision even extended to automated flights around airports, setting a benchmark for other councils and organizations.
Fostering a Safe and Efficient Workplace
Automation and streamlining the drone program were not just about technological advancement but also about enhancing workplace safety and efficiency. The council's focus on training and asset management reflected their commitment to empowering their workforce with new skills and capabilities.
Overcoming Challenges in Recruitment and Safety in Construction Site Monitoring
Despite facing recruitment challenges and the need for rigorous safety measures, the council's drone program has sparked considerable interest in drone training and certification. Their use of drones for monitoring construction sites demonstrates a blend of legal diligence and technological innovation.
Collaborative Learning and Advanced Mapping Techniques
The council's use of Bentley context capture software for aerial mosaics and their collaborative project to measure their Waste Management Facility's height illustrate a commitment to precision and technological synergy. By working closely with different council units and surveyors, they have created a model of interdepartmental cooperation and technological integration.
The Hobart City Council's journey from a rudimentary drone operation to a sophisticated program exemplifies innovation, safety, and efficiency in public service. Their pioneering spirit in embracing drone technology paves the way for other councils and organizations to follow, showcasing the transformative power of technology in enhancing community services and operations.
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