3D Robotics Conducts Drone Surveys Of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport

How We Got Permission To Fly Drones On The Busiest Airport In The World



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” In 2015, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport became the first airport in the world to exceed 100 million annual passengers, and it has continued to grow since then, pushing current airport infrastructure to its limits. So the City of Atlanta decided to expand the airport and commissioned Atkins, a leading design and engineering firm, to help with this, starting with the demolition and rebuilding of the present-day North and South parking garage and passenger drop off to facilitate the construction of a new airport hotel.

  Doing new construction on such a busy airport is a challenge. Safety is always everyone’s number one priority, but following right behind safety, the experience of passengers must be at the forefront of everyone’s minds because every small inconvenience can disrupt daily airport operations and cause delays. Planning is key and in this scale it is best done in digital models, so that every stakeholder has access to the same, accurate information. The quickest and safest way to capture the existing site conditions is to fly a drone over the area of interest and process the data to high definition maps and 3D point clouds.”  

” Now Atkins faced a challenge. Getting permission to fly drones on an international airport is difficult. The numerous illegal drone flights close to airports and planes, that we all read about in the news, are not only dangerous and irresponsible, they also make it harder for professionals to use drones for work. This is when Atkins reached out to Autodesk and 3DR, who together through Autodesk’s UAV Lighthouse Program, have made clear the unique business value of commercial drones in construction. Because the site was in the controlled airspace of an international airport, the 3DR team used the new FAA online portal to obtain the authorization for the flight. As part of the airspace authorization process, 3DR and Atkins were able to demonstrate to the FAA that an operation in such a critical location between runways could be performed safely using Site Scan, 3DR’s autonomous aerial data capture platform.”


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