Aviation Council

AASHTO Liaison
Shayne Gill, Program Director for Multimodal Transportation

Welcome to the Council on Aviation

About the Council on Aviation

The Council on Aviation shall discuss and recommend policies related to aviation legislation and regulation, and coordinate the efforts of the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO) and AASHTO on joint aviation policy matters. The Council shall review aviation policy obtained from NASAO; suggest aviation policy for NASAO’s consideration; and recommend aviation policy to AASHTO’s Transportation Policy Forum. The Council shall operate as a forum to exchange information, identify aviation issues of national concern, including regulatory mandates, and provide information to members on these important issues. The Council shall review and ballot technical documents as assigned by the Transportation Policy Forum and provide direction and assignments to committees on aviation issues.

Membership on the council is open to all AASHTO Members with one voting member per state.

New Items

Kansas DOT Secretary Julie L. Lorenz to Lead AASHTO Council on Aviation 

US States’ Drones Inspect Bridges, Help Predict Avalanches
Associated AASHTO Press Release

State DOTs’​ Use of Drone Technologies Will Transform Transportation in New Ways

Comment Letter: AASHTO-NGA-NCSL-NACo-NASAO-USCM requesting that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) establish and maintain, prior to the proposal of any regulatory policies, a joint series of formal federalism consultations in accordance with Executive Order (EO) 13132 (Federalism, August 19, 1999) in response to the passage of H.R. 302, Division H, Preventing Emerging Threats.

2018 AASHTO Legislative Action Agenda (FAA Reauthorization – Issue #6)

Reports and Studies

Transportation TV’s Special Report:
Part 1 – State DOTs Using Drones to Improve Safety, Collect Data Faster and Cut Costs (3/25/2016)

Part 2 – Building Highways in the Sky: State DOTs Leading the Evolution of Drones (3/27/2018)

Part 3 – State DOTs Building Highways in the Sky (5/20/2019)

2019 AASHTO UAS/Drone Survey of All 50 State DOTs

A May 2019 survey by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials finds that 49 of 50 states are using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) or drone technologies in some way. Among those state DOTs, seven out of 10 have hired hundreds of staff, including highly-skilled personnel to manage drone operations. Those state DOTs, 36 in total, also reported having 279 Federal Aviation Administration certified drone pilots on staff or approximately eight pilots per state. Click here to view the survey report.

How State DOTs are Using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
According to a March 2016 survey by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, 33 state departments of transportation have or are exploring, researching, testing or using unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as drones, to inspect bridges and assist with clearing vehicle crashes, among other innovative applications. AASHTO recently hosted a webinar to further discuss how different states are incorporating UAS technology into their research and project delivery. Below you will find a recording of this webinar, as well as links to several presentations regarding UAS.

Webinar recording on How States Are Using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS): Watch Here. (4/8/2016)
Slideshow PDFs:
California UAS Operations – Gary Cathey
Evaluating the Use of UAS for Transportation Purposes – Steven Cook.pdf
Kentucky Transportation Cabinet UAS Program – Jason Siwula, PE.pdf
Ohio and Indiana UAS Center – Enabling UAS Operations – Fred Judson.pdf
UAS in Vermont – Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne.pdf

Current Topics

AASHTO Journal: Survey of State DOTs Finds Dozens Eyeing Drones to Aid Inspections, Cut Costs: AASHTO notes that all such drone testing must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration, and several state DOTs reported that the FAA application process to research UAVs can take months to complete. But FAA officials say they expect to issue new regulations for commercial drone testing and usage this summer.

The Aviation Council is proud to be part of the

Alliance for Aviation Across America

Chair: Julie L. Lorenz
Secretary, Kansas DOT