MAPPS, the only national trade and professional association of private geospatial, aerial imagery and satellite remote sensing firms, urged the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in comments submitted November 2, to continue a waiver process for aerial photography missions in its regulations on the Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ) in the Washington, DC area.
MAPPS member firms conduct aerial photography (including film imagery, digital imagery, LIDAR and other airborne geospatial source data technologies) for commercial and governmental purposes with applications that typically include airports, highways, environmental and industrial sites, flood studies, monitoring, shoreline, mining, utilities, sea ports/marinas, railroads, planning, forestry, and agricultural.
In its comments to FAA, MAPPS said it “seeks to improve the waiver process to the flight restricted zone (FRZ) … (and) a process that expedites the vetting in granting waivers allowing completion of MAPPS member firms’ projects and contracts on time. Upgrades in the FRZ waiver process are mutually beneficial: MAPPS member firms benefit as well as the government entities (federal, state, and local) affected directly or indirectly by the contract’s completion”.
“MAPPS strongly urges FAA clarify and spell out specifically that survey flights will still be able to request and receive waivers through TSA (Transportation Security Administration), in the same manner they currently do,” MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello said in the association’s written comments.
When all Class B airspace nationwide was restricted immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks, MAPPS successfully lobbied FAA to get aerial photo missions back in business before most other specialty aircraft. Since that time, MAPPS has worked with FAA and TSA to assure a workable waiver process for airspace in Washington, DC and New York City.
MAPPS is the only U.S. trade and professional association of private geospatial firms. Former in 1982, MAPPS has more than 150 private sector firms from all aspects of the geospatial profession. Its member firms are in the mapping, spatial data and geographic information systems field engaged in mapping, photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, hydrography, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS and GIS data collection, integration and conversion services.
Source: MAPPS, Nov. 3, 2005