The Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS), Reston, Va., has written the Federal Aviation Administration and Secretary of Transportation urging that its member firms be able to resume flight operations.

The FAA grounded all general aviation aircraft after the tragic events of Sept. 11. While some commercial air travel has resumed, some general aviation aircraft, such as aerial photography missions utilizing visual flight rules, are still not permitted to fly.

“MAPPS is respectful to those who lost their lives and were injured in this tragic attack, and our sympathies go out to the victims’ families. We are also mindful of the difficult national security issues facing our government leaders. However, aerial photography is critical to the nation’s infrastructure and environment and a prolonged delay permitting aerial photo missions back in the air will not only impact our member firms, but America’s economy as well. In the meantime, we urge our member firms’ clients to be patient and understanding. Any firms, agencies or organizations that have projects requiring aerial photography should contact the photogrammetric mapping firm with whom they work to discuss scheduling,” said MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello.

MAPPS plans to work with the FAA on additional measures to enhance the safety and security of aerial photographic missions. MAPPS member firm Keystone Aerial Surveys Inc. has been granted special permission to conduct an aerial photo mission on the World Trade Center. The firm is under contract with the State of New York.

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