The first commercial drone flight at a major US airport

In January, Autodesk partnered with 3DR and Atkins to fly the first FAA-approved commercial drone flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), the world’s busiest airport. Drones were used to capture areas of the airport that will be undergoing major construction as part of the ATLNext capital improvement program. The drone photos were captured using 3DR SiteScan and processed into images, 3D models, and point clouds using Autodesk’s ReCap cloud-based platform. This process enables engineers to design in a 3D world using Autodesk tools. Special thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the ATL operations team for their support. All flights were permitted by the FAA under Part 107.


  1. Drone U on June 2, 2021 at 3:25 am

    Hate to burst your solo bubble autodesk, but we did the first FAA approved flight at an airport in 2013. Get real, 2017… c’mon that was 4 years later, and you’re using a drone with a 6 minute flight time…. c’mon.

  2. Dave Hein on June 2, 2021 at 3:28 am

    The Atlanta project is interesting, but hardly a first. Kona International Airport at Keahole, Hawaii was probably not a first drone application either, but they have an FAA Certificate of Waiver or Authorization dated Nov 2015 for work that was completed by Orbic Air, LLC in 2016. When drone operations are conducted per the requirements of FAA guidelines, and under direct control of the air traffic control tower, they are very safe in commercial airspace, even in the immediate airport environment.

  3. onemanarmy on June 2, 2021 at 3:43 am

    3DR..commercial? No

  4. Knüppel aus dem Sack on June 2, 2021 at 3:52 am

    Bitte arbeitet nicht für die Rüstungsindustrie ihr macht euch damit mitschuldig an jeden Mord der damit begangen wird.

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