MAPPS Executive Director Urges Commercial UAS Approval for Aerial Survey Operations

April 20, 2012 -- DAYTON, Ohio—Speaking at the first annual Ohio UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) Conference, held at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH, MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello called on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to include commercial aerial survey operators in its Congressionally-mandated plan to certify civil unmanned aircraft systems into the national airspace system.

Palatiello spoke on the role of the private aerial survey community in a UAS environment. He told the more than 400 persons at the conference “aerial survey firms support commercial UAS, have expressed interest to Congress and FAA” and look forward to UAS’s becoming “another tool in the toolbox to supplement, not replace, manned aircraft”.

“A mature, existing commercial aerial survey capability exists and research and development on lighter, smaller sensors for UAS is already underway,” Palatiello said. “The challenge to the private aerial survey is in policy, not technology. The number one obstacle to aerial survey firms is unfair government and university competition.”

“Certifying government, military, university & research UAS, without a like-process for commercial firms will only exacerbate the problem, impede private sector growth and job creation, and stymie UAS maturation,” Palatiello said. He called for a “level playing field” for commercial UAS.

The FAA will soon issue a proposed rule on certification of commercial UAS.  The FAA official who is writing the plan, Randy Willis, is a confirmed speaker at the MAPPS 2012 Summer Conference, July 10-14 in Snowmass, CO.

About MAPPS …

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.

MAPPS provides its 160+ member firms opportunities for networking and developing business-to-business relationships, information sharing, education, public policy advocacy, market growth, and professional development and image enhancement.

Contact:
Katie Bell
(703) 787-6996
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