Recommended Practice

Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in Rail Transit Environments


This recommended practice (RP) provides guidance for development of unmanned aircraft system (UAS) plans and procedures for rail transit agencies (RTAs). The RP provides RTAs with guidance on what must be considered in terms of operating UASs in and around rail transit operating environments in order to minimize the potential for unsafe occurrences involving transit operations that may result in damage to equipment or injury or loss of life to passengers, employees, or the general public.

Document History
Document Number Version Publication Date Publication Related Information
APTA RT-OP-RP-025-20 Original 02/04/2020 Published Current


unmanned aircraft systems, unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, inspections, emergency response


This recommended practice establishes a framework for a management program or formal requirements that RTAs should enact in order to operate UASs for various purposes under a formal, organized approach.   The recommended practice offers guidance on use of UASs in the transit environment, design considerations, communications protocols, operations, maintenance, administrative requirements, and training.

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