Use of UAS to Enhance the Design, Maintenance, Inspection, and Construction of Transportation Infrastructure

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, have witnessed exponential growth in various industries due to their versatility and cost-effectiveness. However, as the utilization of UAS in commercial operations under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 regulations continues to expand, ensuring the safety, reliability, and airworthiness of the UAS fleet becomes an increasingly critical challenge. Maintaining a diverse fleet of UAS from multiple platforms, used across various industries, necessitates the development of a comprehensive maintenance optimization strategy to address potential risks, ensure regulatory compliance, and maximize operational efficiency. The current problem lies in the lack of a standardized and efficient maintenance approach for UAS under FAA Part 107 operations. Several factors contribute to the challenge: (1) Diverse UAS platforms: Part 107 operations encompass a range of UAS platforms with varying sizes, configurations, and operational requirements. Managing maintenance procedures for this heterogeneous fleet becomes complex due to the diverse needs of different UAS models. (2) Safety and reliability: Safety is paramount in UAS operations, and ensuring the reliability of each UAS is crucial to prevent accidents and malfunction. (3) Regulatory compliance: FAA regulations mandate regular maintenance of UAS to ensure airworthiness and adherence to safety standards. (4) Cost-effectiveness: The maintenance of a UAS fleet can be expensive, especially if done without a structured approach. (5) Data management and tracking: Keeping track of maintenance records, inspection schedules, and service histories for multiple UAS across different platforms can become cumbersome. The objective of this research is to develop guidance for state departments of transportation (DOTs) to establish, structure, and execute a UAS (or drone) maintenance program to optimize resource expenditures. The desired output is a guide for state DOT UAS programs to implement a standardized approach to UAS maintenance with reference to specific tools and processes that can support streamlined maintenance management approaches.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 13-10

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Abu-Hawash, Ahmad

  • Start Date: 20240521
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01919277
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 13-10
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: May 21 2024 8:22PM