NJDOT Research

NJ #
NJDOT UAS/Drone Procedures Manual and Best Practices for Use in New Jersey

Recent advances in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) technologies have tremendous potential of improving the reliability and efficiency of inspections of transportation infrastructures, such as bridges, highways, railroads, construction projects, high mast light poles, etc. Two major challenges in the adoption of UAS operations for NJDOT transportation infrastructures are: (i) regulatory compliance with the FAA regulated airspaces, and (ii) the absence of comprehensive operational procedures and guidelines for performing the UAS missions. Therefore, the main objectives of this research were to investigate the local laws, statues and conditions affecting the NJDOT’s UAS operations, and to develop comprehensive procedures for the use of UAS by a public agency, such as NJDOT for their inspection, operation, and management activities. These UAS procedures comply with current Federal regulations and include appropriate forms to maintain documentation and ensure FAA compliance. The outcomes of this research are presented as two separate sections in this report. The first section addresses the existing laws and practices for UAS operations in the State of New Jersey. The second section discusses NJDOT’s unique safety and risk management concerns and fully integrates them with established best UAS procedures for use by NJDOT. These procedures cover all aspects of UAS operations conducted on behalf of NJDOT, whether it is by public employees, a consulting firm, or a contract with a commercial UAS vendor.

Performing Organization
City College of New York, University Transportation Research Center
Key Word(s)
Aviation; Research; Policy; Regulation; Security and Emergencies; Vehicles and Equipment

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