Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is believed to have become the first airport in the US to use a drone to carry out an inspection of one of its runways.
The milestone project was carried out in collaboration with Michael Baker International, a leading engineering, planning and consulting services company.
It identified an opportunity for the innovative use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) – commonly known as drones – to collect information and analyse the condition of the runway pavement for future improvement.
According to the company it also presents a time and cost savings for the airport as it would take less than half the time to complete compared to the traditional approach of manually photographing the physical condition of the runway, which can take more than four hours.
The mission was conducted on the international Runway 9L/27R and was completed in less than 20 minutes, gathering approximately 630 photos of the airfield.