North Carolina has incredibly deep history in aviation and certainly a big piece of that is the Wright brothers it was 1903 they were able to lift off and maintain flight and as some have said it's 12 seconds that changed the world 115 years later it's amazing to think about where we're at in 2013 our legislature started focusing on how we could integrate drones into the state and they needed a group to really spearhead that integration the natural place for it to fall was in the Department of Transportation education and training are a key focus for division aviation and that is very partnered with NC Public Safety drone Academy we offer a host of large scenario-based classes so will actually take fireman law enforcement search and rescue and putting them in real-life scenarios everything on the truck exists in order to save a life and help somebody on their worse today we've been flying drones at the Wake Forest Fire Department for about four years the number one goal of the drone at a public safety scene is to provide some sort of actionable intelligence that would not otherwise be obtained we got involved a few years ago to integrate drones into what we do with the Highway Patrol which is a collision reconstruction the traditional methods would have been tape will measurement devices lasers or light armed scanners the whole process to map a crash will take anything between three to five hours having the drone in the vehicle allows me to get to work right away we can get a scene mapped in less than 30 minutes and we can open up the roads in less than an hour our environmental analysis unit has been able to use drones for herbicide spraying so before we were able to use drones we had to do traditional methods a large number of people a large number of man-hours use of drones has definitely made a job safer with less effort another use that the environmental analysis unit is able to use drones for is assessing wetlands or other sensitive areas around construction projects we're monitoring some aquatic vegetation to make sure that we're not doing any damage to it before we had drones our environment you know we've monitored these areas by hand which is very tedious and it's a long process so we said you know why don't we put drones and hands of our environment let them take washing off boats and collect his data we embarked on a project to see how drones could be incorporated into airport inspections they're looking at the pavement lighting obstructions light trees or anything off the ends of the runway in the approaches it's more efficient it's more effective off the aviation the second most loudly used mode of transportation is really they were usually driving 10 20 miles down the rail at one time and filming with a film camera in front of windshields we saw this happening so we said you know why can't we watch the drone we drive down a railway we get a wider picture of the rail so they can look at the railroad tracks and railroad ties and see if there's any damage carries a common occurrence in our state are tropical storms or hurricanes usually one of the big problems with hurricanes in North Carolina is the amount of flooding that we get we're able to use drones to help with rapid assessment of damage to our infrastructure we're always looking for how to leverage newer technologies and newer tools to help get things done faster cheaper safer and I know how hard we've worked to push the envelope and leverage and show what these things can do drones in the future of these tools and this technology is going to surpass what manned flight has done in fact sometimes when you stop and think 115 years later from 1903 and very beginnings it's remarkable to think about how a VA ssin has evolved if the Wright brothers were here now what would they think of aviation I think they'd be amazed you
115 years after the Wright Brothers made their historic flight, the Division of Aviation at the North Carolina Department of Transportation continues their aviation legacy by spearheading the integration of drones into a statewide program. It has helped North Carolina become a leader in government and commercial use of drones.
They’ve used drones for public safety, accident reconstruction, environmental analysis and lifesaving actionable intelligence. Thanks to DJI drones and scenario-based workshops and training, public safety and state leaders continue helping their community from above.
Read our White Paper about the North Carolina Drone Framework: