Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has begun using drones in a bid to improve its monitoring of projects in areas that are difficult to reach. Drones are remotely controlled devices, which are capable of taking images in more than one location, as the aircraft can be programmed to follow a series of locations and photograph angles.

The RTA said that using drones can help improve access to areas that are unreachable by conventional means. One example of this is underneath bridges, where drones can be used to inspect or identify parts that need maintenance. Drones might also be used in other inaccessible places such as the upper parts of metro stations.

The drones will also be used as part of the response to emergencies and crises on the roads. For example, using a drone following an emergency will help to identify and monitor the adverse impacts on a larger scale.

The RTA’s drone service will be used to monitor important projects across the emirate, following an initial test where a flying drone was used to monitor the implementation of the Dubai Water Canal project.

Abdullah Al Madani, CEO of RTA Corporate Technical Support Services, said the test had been a success: “The test has several benefits, as it has provided us with a holistic view of the sites and projects, to follow up the completion phases.” He also confirmed that the drone service would serve the first strategic goal of ‘Smart Dubai’ and the seventh strategic goal of RTA excellence.

The UAE is also following suit, as earlier this year it announced plans to use unmanned drones to deliver official packages and documents to citizens. This is part of a bid to upgrade government services to the wider population. The plan is to introduce the drones within a year.