Drones will be used to take a nationwide survey of road conditions across the island, Infrastructure Malta said. 

The study, which will be completed by the summer, will be providing an analysis of the roads for a planned €700-million upgrade, the agency added. 

Aerial photos of over 2,500 kilometres of roads in Malta and Gozo will be captured by specialised drones during the next few weeks, starting from the northern parts of Malta.

The images will then be processed to develop a Geographic Information System containing photo maps of road networks. The damage data can then be used to establish reconstruction prioritisation levels, the agency added.

The photos captured by the drone will be restricted to road areas and their immediate surroundings, and no personal identifiable data will be collected, in line with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

Drone operators are planning flights seven days in advance to take into consideration weather patterns and road use, among other factors.

Infrastructure Malta CEO Frederick Azzopardi said the map of the roads will serve as a baseline when assessing the durability and effectiveness of different road construction and maintenance methods along the years.

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