A look at some more news, notes and quotes from AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems conference this week in Washington, D.C.

More from MAPPS: Wednesday’s Washington Policy Lunch organized by MAPPS signaled just how important unmanned aerial systems are to the group and its members.

As the Federal Aviation Administration wrestles with regulations for UASs for civilian use (the rules are supposed to be issued by 2015, but many in the geospatial profession believe the timetable will be pushed back) and as privacy issues are raised by some in Congress, MAPPS wants to make sure its message is heard.

“All we are really talking about is a new and different platform,” MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello said in opening remarks at the luncheon.

“Aerial photography has been commerce in the United States for decades and decades and decades,” he said. “There are extraordinary societal benefits that are derived from companies either working for commercial clients or private-sector clients that provide a tremendous benefit to society by capturing aerial imagery, converting that into maps and applying it for the benefit of citizens.

“One needs only look at dialing 911 when you have an emergency and knowing that the emergency response team has an accurate map with your address and can get the ambulance to your house,” Palatiello said. “That all starts with an aerial photograph. All we are talking about now is capturing that imagery from a different platform.”

Bigger than ever: In comments at Thursday’s general session, AUVSI President and CEO Michael Toscano proclaimed this year’s conference an “outstanding event.” Toscano said that this year’s event had more than 590 exhibitors and more than 8,000 attendees, making it the organization’s biggest conference to date.

Next year: The conference will switch from summer to spring. AUVSI’s Unmanned Systems 2014 will take place May 12-15 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.