With Federal Green Light, ATL Deploys Drone Over Runway


Having inked permission from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), which touts itself as the world’s busiest airport, was recently able to survey a runway by using an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

According to ATL, a subcontractor deployed a drone to document runway pavement for future maintenance. The event, which took place on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., was open to the media.

Local coverage from CBS46 notes that ATL deployed an Intel Falcon 8 drone for the latest operation. The report says the goal of the UAS work is ultimately to “save money and expedite maintenance.”

ATL says it serves more than 104 million passengers each year. According to a post on Twitter from the airport, the UAS survey was also part of ATL’s capital-improvement initiative dubbed ATLNext. The $6 billion program aims to modernize the domestic terminal and concourses, construct new parking decks, build a new hotel and Class A commercial office space, add a new runway, construct a new concourse, and expand cargo facilities.

Earlier this year, 3DR teamed up with the City of Atlanta’s Department of Aviation, Autodesk and engineering firm Atkins to also conduct drone surveys at the airport.

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