Japan Airlines and KDDI SmartDrone Collaborate for Post-Earthquake Damage Assessment in Noto Peninsula

Japan Airlines and KDDI SmartDrone Collaborate for Post-Earthquake Damage Assessment in Noto Peninsula

(IN SHORT) Japan Airlines (JAL) and KDDI SmartDrone partnered to support post-earthquake damage assessment in the Noto Peninsula, affected by a January 2024 earthquake. Through aerial drone photography, they surveyed potential construction sites for temporary housing in Suzu City and conducted emergency bridge inspections in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture. The use of drones facilitated rapid assessment of damages, including hard-to-see components, reducing on-site workload and aiding in timely decision-making for emergency measures. JAL and KDDI SmartDrone aim to promote the societal integration of drones for disaster response and address challenges in aging infrastructure.

(PRESS RELEASE) Tokyo, Japan, 2024-Mar-13 — /Travel PR News/ — We extend our heartfelt sympathy to all those affected and evacuated due to the Noto Peninsula earthquake in January 2024.

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (Headquarters: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, President and Group CEO: Yuji Akasaka, hereinafter JAL) and KDDI SmartDrone Co., Ltd. (Location: Minato-ku, Tokyo, President: Masafumi Hirono, hereinafter KDDI SmartDrone) participated in support activities to survey the damage using drones from January 19 to February 7, 2024, under the coordination of the Japan UAS Industry Development Association (JUIDA) in Ishikawa Prefecture’s Suzu City and Wajima City.

As the construction of temporary housing was being rushed In Suzu City, it was necessary to quickly assess the damage situation at potential construction sites. In response to the request from Suzu City, aerial drone photography was conducted in each area, including Horyu-machi, capturing oblique and vertical images creating orthoimages (*1) overlaid on maps. Additionally, maps overlaying orthoimages and tsunami inundation areas were provided to the local governments to clarify the relationship between potential construction sites and the extent of tsunami inundation, facilitating timely decision-making and implementation of emergency measures.

In Wajima City, the earthquake caused various damages, including cracks in roads, thereby requiring inspections of more than 400 bridges. To promptly assess the safety of the bridges, emergency bridge inspections using drones were conducted.

The utilization of drones enabled the immediate assessment of damages to components such as the undersides of floorboards, supports, bridge piers, and abutments, which are difficult to visually inspect. Furthermore, the quick preparation of equipment resulted in reduced on-site workload and contributed to mitigating secondary disasters.

JAL and KDDI SmartDrone aim to accelerate the social implementation of drones, leveraging this initiative to expand the utilization of drones for assessing post-disaster damages and addressing the challenges of aging social infrastructure. They also stive to establish a safe and secure operational management system, promoting the accelerated integration of drones into society.

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Source: Japan Airlines