Drones provide awe-inspiring perspective on highways, projects, landscapes

Drones provide awe-inspiring perspective on highways, projects, landscapes

October 18, 2018

By David Woodfill / ADOT Communications

As the saying goes, a picture is worth of thousand words. With that in mind, we'll let the footage above, showing State Route 179 south of Sedona, speak for itself.

These awe-inspiring views wouldn't have been possible without two drones we're now using in ADOT Communications thanks to a federal grant that also covered training for two drone pilots recently certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

One of our goals at ADOT is making transportation personal. These drones will help us do that by offering a new perspective on highways and improvement projects.

"Many of ADOT’s projects are so large that it’s really tough to give the viewer a true perspective on the scale of the work being done," said John Dougherty, one of our drone pilots. "By being able to get above, away from and around the project, we can better illustrate the work being done.”

Dougherty captured some breathtaking aerials of ADOT projects including the work on the interchange of Interstate 10 and State Route 87.

"We are capturing visuals that we’ve never been able to get without access to a helicopter," said Kim Katchur, ADOT's video production project manager. "The I-10/SR 87 project is a great example."

Flying a drone isn't as simple as flying a radio-controlled model airplane, Dougherty said. There are procedures and protocols to follow to protect safety and property.

"If I’m asked to shoot video with one of our drones, I first need to verify what category of airspace I’ll be flying and ask permission from the air traffic control if I’m within the airspace of an airport," Dougherty said. "I also need to be aware of things like migratory birds and other wildlife. I can’t fly over people, traffic, or at night. And I’ll need permission to fly in a wilderness area such as a state park.”

Viewing these videos, it's clear that the effort is well worth it, and we look forward to bringing you more stirring views from above showing our highways and projects as well as Arizona's natural beauty.