MAPPS, the national association of private sector geospatial firms, has been selected as a member of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) working group on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). MAPPS is the only representative of the geospatial, aerial survey, and remote sensing community on the committee.
"As an association representing the many private sector businesses that are anxious to use unmanned aerial systems for commercial geospatial applications, we are honored to participate on this important committee," said John Palatiello, MAPPS Executive Director, who will sit on the committee. "The geospatial community has been safely flying aircraft for decades and understands the safety implications of introducing a new technology in the national airspace. Our members see a great opportunity to utilize UAS to provide new geospatial data and applications benefiting the citizens of the United States."
The Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) user working group will hold its first meeting today. FAA has tasked the committee to provide input from users or potential users of UAS on immediate, near, and long-term issues for integrating UAS into the national airspace system. The committee is co-chaired by Michael Toscano, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), Melissa Rudinger, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), and Mark Reed, Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA). According to Jim Williams, Manager of the UAS Integration Office in FAA, the associations represent "a diverse group of potential UAS users in certain key industries, such as agriculture, mapping, photography, energy, public safety, cargo, communications, and others.
Palatiello has been MAPPS Executive Director since 1987. He was an original member of the federal government's National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) and currently serves on the Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN) Advisory Board. He is president of John M. Palatiello & Associates, Inc., an association management and public affairs consulting firm, where he is a national government affairs consultant to the National Society of Professional Surveyors, Executive Director of the Maryland Society of Surveyors, and Administrator of the Council on Federal Procurement of Architectural & Engineering Services (COFPAES). Palatiello was named one of the ten most influential people in the geospatial community by Directions Magazine.