The Kansas Department of Transportation’s (KDOT) Division of Aviation has completed a field exercise in Rossville to demonstrate the capabilities of drones being used for infrastructure inspections and disaster response.
Bridge inspectors, public safety officials, universities and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) manufacturers worked side-by-side with KDOT team members on this exercise. The Capabilities Exercise, or CAPEX, showed how drones can save time and money on transportation infrastructure inspections; allow state agencies to examine disaster sites in emergency response situations; and expand economic opportunities through transportation using innovative technologies.
In October 2017, KDOT was selected as one of nine participants in the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program, a three-year program that concluded Oct. 25.
The FAA decided to continue the partnerships to tackle remaining UAS integration challenges and further drone research with the BEYOND program. KDOT is one of eight participants to continue in the research effort.
The drone demonstration in Rossville was one of the first events to take place as part of BEYOND.
There are 44 state agency, university and technology partners have been selected to join the KDOT team in their efforts in the BEYOND program.