Transport Scotland has awarded a £590,000 contract to Blom Aerofilms which will see the company carry out aerial surveys of where the A9 and A96 routes are to be upgraded to dual carriageway.
The data, which is to be used in conjunction with land surveys, will provide information to compile computer ground models which are essential for the design work.
Subject to the mandatory standstill period, Transport Scotland will award Blom Aerofilms the contract to survey the A9 corridor from Perth to Inverness and the A96 corridor from Inverness to Aberdeen.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “There is a great deal of work going on to take forward this Government’s commitment to dual the A9 and although less advanced, the A96 dualling work is now starting to gather pace.
“The aerial topographical surveys will help support the ongoing preliminary design work on the A9 and help inform the early engineering services work that has now started on the A96 dualling programme.
“We recently held a series of public exhibitions on the A9 dualling programme and as our proposals for dualling the A9 are developed we will provide further opportunities for the public to participate in the decision-making process.
“Following on from the public consultation last year on the Inverness to Nairn, including Nairn Bypass proposals, a further public consultation is planned for later this year on the implications of the options under consideration with a view to confirming a preferred route by 2014.
“These public exhibitions will also provide information on the developing A96 dualling programme and set out the challenges that we face in dualling this important road that links Scotland’s two northernmost cities and bisects a number of communities in towns where bypasses will need to be built.”