MAPPS Comments on FAA Proposed Rulemaking on UAS

April 28, 2015 (Reston, VA) - In response to a call from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for public comments on a proposed framework of regulations for use of small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to be operated in public skies, MAPPS submitted on Friday its concerns and suggestions.

As the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field, MAPPS is uniquely positioned to act as both expert adviser and witness on UAS technology, best practices and implications. As many of its members operate small UAS (under 55 pounds), MAPPS is well versed in current practice and future plans for commercial UAS.


In light of all of the many useful geospatial applications, MAPPS believes "regulation of geo-location data, or its collection from a UAS, would have a severe, negative and unintended consequences for the government, business and individual U.S. citizens."


Among the technical comments proffered by MAPPS:

  • Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations are currently possible and should be promptly permitted;
  • FAA should finalize regulations expeditiously requiring all small UAS sold in the United States to adhere to basic standards of design, manufacture and safety;
  • Restrictions in the proposed rules for flying over a "populated area" are impractical and must be relaxed. The proposed rule indicates that "any single person within the area of operation that is not inside a structure" would cause the termination of a UAS mission and should be revised to allow operations unless an area has been designated a restricted area, such as like a stadium, parade, or event with population density;
  • A microUAV category should be established for very small, lightweight UAS, with limited regulation since the impact on safety is minimal.

MAPPS has been engaged in programs, education sessions, and public policy discussion on use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for geospatial applications - aerial surveying, mapping and imagery - for more than seven years. MAPPS is a member of a partnership on UAS with the National Conference of State Legislatures, the association's Executive Director, John Palatiello is a member of a FAA rulemaking advisory committee on BVLOS, and MAPPS member firms were the first in the geospatial community to receive section 333 waivers to commercially operate UAS in the United States. On November 17-18, 2015, MAPPS will be the exclusive geospatial applications content provider at Drone World Expo in San Jose, California.


Read the full text of the MAPPS comments here.  



Formed in 1982, MAPPS is the only national association exclusively comprised of private firms in the remote sensing, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the United States. The MAPPS membership spans the entire spectrum of the geospatial community, including Member Firms engaged in satellite and airborne remote sensing, surveying, photogrammetry, aerial photography, LIDAR, hydrography, bathymetry, charting, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS, and GIS data collection and conversion services. MAPPS also includes Associate Member Firms, which are companies that provide hardware, software, products and services to the geospatial profession in the United States and other firms from around the world. Independent Consultant Members are sole proprietors engaged in consulting in or to the geospatial profession, or provides a consulting service of interest to the geospatial profession.


Beth Hawley
MAPPS Communications Manager
Email Contact 

Review Article Be the first to review this article


Featured Video
Mechanical Engineer I for Air Techniques, Inc at Melville, NY
Proposal Support Coordinator for Keystone Aerial Surveys at Philadelphia, PA
Upcoming Events
GIS Cloud Workshop In Syracuse, New York at Syracuse NY - Aug 22, 2017
ENVI Analytics Symposium 2017 at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa Denver Colorado - Aug 22 - 24, 2017
GeoSmart Asia 2017 at Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) Putrajaya Malaysia - Aug 22 - 24, 2017
Teledyne Optech
University of Denver GIS Masters Degree Online
GeoSmartAsia - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

Internet Business Systems © 2017 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
25 North 14th Steet, Suite 710, San Jose, CA 95112
+1 (408) 882-6554 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy