Airbus Aerial Completes Drone Work on ATL Runway


Airbus Aerial, the commercial aerial services business of Airbus, recently conducted drone-based mapping and inspections at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International (ATL).

Officials from Hartsfield-Jackson requested Airbus Aerial conduct mapping of its south runway to help it assess the benefits of using drones to conduct critical runway inspections. The airport has engaged in this type of work in the past.

Due to the high volume of activity in this Class B airspace, Airbus Aerial received clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration before conducting the work. According to Airbus Aerial, the airport has held a ranking of the world’s busiest airport since 2012, both in passengers and number of flights, by accommodating 100 million passengers and 950,119 flights annually.

The team used a senseFly eBee Plus drone with specialized RTK GPS capabilities to capture aerial images of the runway with an accuracy of less than 5 cm. The fully automated drone is capable of mapping an entire runway in one flight with a single operator, notes Airbus Aerial.

After capturing the imagery, Airbus Aerial engineers developed a comprehensive assessment report for airport officials, including 3D mapping, contour layers and traditional high-resolution imagery – all within Airbus Aerial’s cloud-based geospatial platform.

“We are excited by this opportunity and very pleased with the outcome,” states Jesse Kallman, president of Airbus Aerial. “These results show the time and cost savings our service provides and demonstrates our ability to successfully conduct such critical work in this tightly controlled and high-volume airspace.”

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