DAA Wins Groundbreaking Aerial Services Contract and Builds on Extensive Experience

Lidar Drone

Draper Aden Associates has been committed to serving clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic with innovative and dynamic professional services that leave a Lasting Positive Impact®. That’s why the firm has invested heavily in unmanned aerial services in recent years. Draper Aden recognizes the powerful impact drones and unmanned aerial services can offer public and private clients across a wide array of industries.


For example, we continue to partner with Eden & Associates on an extensive airport obstruction survey project with the Virginia Department of Aviation and Federal Aviation Administration. Draper Aden is using fixed-wing and multi-rotor drones to collect visible imagery for photogrammetric processing and generation of 3D Point Cloud.  The Point Cloud data will be used for Part 77 Engineering Analysis to detect and document obstructions in portions of VGAS, entire VGPCS, entire VGPS and entire VGRPS Airport surfaces.

LiDAR Scan of Draper Aden's Richmond Headquarters

With the successful incorporation of drones and advanced sensors, Draper Aden continues to utilize technology to provide our clients with responsive and responsible professional services. The enhanced capability of aerial surveying allows us to get rich datasets, accurate deliverables, and comprehensive information quicker and more often at a lower cost than traditional methods. We strive to integrate these benefits in all our professional services.


“Draper Aden is committed to continuing its leading role in the UAS sector,” noted Jeff Lighthiser, the firm’s CEO and President. “We recognize the opportunity that drone services offer and have a tremendously talented team of recognized experts in this field.”


The firm’s innovative approach to unmanned aerial services and extensive experience is further highlighted in a recent contract awarded by Commonwealth of Virginia’s CIT, The Center for Innovative Technology. CIT announced a ground-breaking contract that will improve state agency access to unmanned aerial systems service providers. Virginia’s Department of General Service (DGS) and the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) led the contracting effort on behalf of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the territories of the United States.


This initiative, a first for the UAS industry, now connects state agencies with approved vendors, including Draper Aden. David Barton, Director of Aerial Services and Chief Pilot at Draper Aden, serves as chair of the Unmanned Systems Association of Virginia and a member of the Virginia Unmanned Systems Center Board of Advisors. He is also one of a few people in the country to obtain permission to conduct a drone operation inside the Washington, D.C. Flight Restricted Zone.


David Barton, Director of Aerial Services

“This first of its kind contract will enable state agencies in Virginia and elsewhere to access high-quality drone services in a much easier and streamlined fashion,” noted Barton. “It’s as simple as placing a task order and will enable agencies to leverage the power of UAS to better serve the public need.”


A leader in the unmanned aerial services industry, read more about David Barton and the firm’s leading role in providing a wide array of innovative aerial services in this InsideBusiness profile and this Civil + Structural Engineer magazine feature story.


For additional information on DAA’s aerial services, visit