NUAIR, Thruway Authority announce pilot program to use drones for bridge inspections

New York’s Thruway Authority announced Monday Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance Inc., or NUAIR, will take part in a pilot program utilizing drones to assist with highway bridge inspections.

Headquartered in Syracuse, NUAIR manages operations at the New York UAS (unmanned aerial systems) Test Site at Griffiss International Airport in Rome.

State officials said the partnership will improve the effectiveness of bridge safety inspections, and the pilot program will come at no cost to the Thruway Authority…

If the program is successful following rigorous field testing and detailed evaluation, the Authority could expand the role of drones to assist with mapping and surveying the 570-mile superhighway system, cataloguing Thruway inventory and infrastructure, documenting damage and repairs, along with supporting general maintenance activities, according to a release on the pilot program.