Drones to be used for regional traffic study

Aug 7, 2018

If you see small unmanned aircraft zipping around local skies over the next several weeks, there's no need to be alarmed. They are most likely drones being used by a regional planning agency to update a regional transportation plan.

"We have a letter here from SRPEDD letting us know they are going to be flying over Rochester using drones," Selectman Chairman Woody Hartley said at the board's Aug. 6, meeting.,

The Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, is working to update the Regional Transportation Plan.

The drones will be flown by a federally certified pilot, according to Paul Mission, a Transportation Planning manager for SRPEDD.

"I want to point out the extensive training that drone pilots have to have," Hartley said. "These aren't kids. Theses are professional pilots licensed to fly drones.'

Mission said the data collected from the drones will help identify transportation hazards.