The National Academies

NCHRP 20-44(17) [Active]

Implementing the Results of NCHRP Project 20-68A, Domestic Scan 17-01: Successful Approaches for the Use of Unmanned Aerial Systems by Surface Transportation Agencies
[ NCHRP 20-44 (NCHRP Implementation Support Program) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $175,000
Staff Responsibility: Sid Mohan
Research Agency: University of Vermont & State Agricultural College
Principal Investigator: Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne
Effective Date: 4/28/2020

The past decade has seen ever-increasing attention and resources dedicated to the application and operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). Beginning with issuance of special airworthiness certificates in the experimental category for unmanned aircraft in 2007, up to the FAA’s Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) §107 and §101, and Sec. 349 of the FAA Re-Authorization Act of 2018, the complexity and breadth of applications for UAS technology have flourished.
The report for NCHRP Project 20-68A, Domestic Scan 17-01 is intended to accelerate beneficial innovation by facilitating information sharing and technology exchange among the states and transportation agencies. The scan report includes conclusions and recommendations in seven topic areas for transportation agencies to consider when starting to use a UAS. Recommendations addressed the areas of executive support, organizational structure, policy and regulation, safety and risk management, training and crew qualifications, public relations, and application and operation.
NCHRP has contracted a consultant to conduct a pilot training program based on the report for NCHRP Project 20-68A, Domestic Scan 17-01 for members of the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans), Vermont Department of Public Safety (VT DPS), Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), and the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT). This training is intended to aid these agencies in reducing UAS operational liability, maximize the UAS potential uses, enable DOT staff to perform UAS operations at a higher level more resourcefully, and shorten the response time for UAS-developed deliverables.

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