MassDOT, drone company partner to demonstrate technology

© Skyports

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division recently partnered with Skyports, a drone services provider, to demonstrate how drone services could link communities across the Cape Cod region.

Skyports will complete a series of test flights and demonstrations across Vineyard Sound, between Woods Hole on Cape Cod and the island of Martha’s Vineyard. Once the testing period ends, it will move into full-scale permanent commercial operations in Massachusetts.

“We are now exploring new drone use cases such as emergency delivery and are fortunate to be able to partner with companies like Skyports that are pushing innovative technologies and operations,” Dr. Jeffrey DeCarlo, MassDOT aeronautics administrator, said. “Massachusetts has a diverse geography and a complex airspace to navigate, and Skyports has brought its tremendous flight experience to bear in order to make this first demonstration a success.”

MassDOT’s Drone Program supports transportation infrastructure. Daily flights map highway and airport projects, document the health of wetlands near construction sites, and inspect rail tracks. MassDOT is investigating the use of drones to connect remote communities to services such as health care and logistics and to provide emergency medical delivery after storms or other natural disasters.

Skyports’ drones can carry payloads up to 100 pounds in harsh weather conditions.