Airports and drones normally don’t go well together but things are different for Atlanta’s air hub. 3DR and Atlanta formed a partnership, which will help in drones mapping Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport as part of a planned expansion. 3DR is an Autodesk and engineering firm.
The key feature for this plan to work was 3DR’s autonomous data capturing tech and Site Scanning. While staying away from incoming and outgoing aircrafts, the drones could capture 2D mosaics and 3D point scans. This is very hard to achieve when the drones need to navigate through the world’s busiest runways which give service to over 100 million passengers per year.
3DR said that “the biggest challenge was getting the green light from extra-wary FAA regulators. Site Scan helped convince the FAA that the mapping drones wouldn’t fly into harm’s way, but the approval also demanded that the drone operators stay in constant contact with air traffic control and submit to controllers’ authority.”
This effort will soon bear fruit. For the demolitions of old structures and building of new infrastructure, this models will help immensely. Also getting approval from FAA this time will make future work like this on other airports much easier. It recently released some information which may help other companies to do similar kind of projects.