A Drone So Big, You'll Notice

March 2, 2024
Ohio transportation officials will deploy a drone with a 7-foot-plus wingspan.

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is planning to fly a large drone over a stretch of highway outside Columbus as part of a pilot traffic surveillance program—and the department had to get special permission from the feds to do it, according to a report on Cleveland.com.

The permission involved an allowance to fly the aircraft out of view of its on-the-ground pilot.

Read also: Minnesota Studies Use of Drones, Sensors to Maintain Bridges

ODOT workers will pilot the 20-pound Censys Sentaero aircraft, which has a wingspan of 7.5 feet, over a portion of U.S. 33 northwest of Columbus as a supplement to traffic cameras already installed on the ground.

The website says the drone will be the first of its size in the country to be approved for that specific purpose, and only the second of its size to be approved to fly over people and traffic for any reason without an on-board parachute.

About the Author

Frank Raczon

Raczon’s writing career spans nearly 25 years, including magazine publishing and public relations work with some of the industry’s major equipment manufacturers. He has won numerous awards in his career, including nods from the Construction Writers Association, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and BtoB magazine. He is responsible for the magazine's Buying Files.