Drone technology is helping the NSW Nationals in the state government fast-track assessment of damage and rebuilding efforts following devastating floods earlier this year.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said data gathered by drones was providing a clear picture of the massive amount of soil and debris that needed to be removed and helped in developing plans to do it safely.
“Our drones have allowed us to get a flying start on understanding exactly what damage has been done so our engineers can work out what is required to fix it – from how many tonnes of rock and debris need to be removed to the data we need to build 3D modelling of the slopes affected,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Best of all, they can take images from multiple angles without putting workers’ safety at risk.
“The sky really is the limit for how useful this technology can be in helping us find temporary solutions to re-open disaster affected roads and designing the permanent solutions needed to rebuild.”
NSW Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said drones have been used extensively on the Oxley Highway after dozens of landslips cut access between Forbes River Road and Gingers Creek Roadhouse.
“Drones are playing a critical role in our efforts to restore access on key roads like the Oxley as quickly as possible, allowing us to get a close-up view of the damage well before it was safe to send crews into these areas,” Mr Toole said.
“Access is still dangerous and difficult in many areas where we’ve seen these landslides but drones have meant we can determine the full extent of damage that can’t be seen from the road.”
Drones are also being used for other transport-related work including routine maintenance and planning for infrastructure projects.