MAPPS has accepted an invitation from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be a member of the UAS Registration Task Force (RTF) Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC).

The UAS RTF ARC was announced on Monday of this week by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to help minimize potentially unsafe UAS operations and incidents. The task force will work to develop minimum requirements for a UAS registration process for safe integration of UAS into the national airspace.

MAPPS has tapped John Perry, founder and CEO of Altavian based in Gainesville, Fla., to represent the association on the task force.

"We are pleased and honored that the FAA has invited MAPPS to participate in the UAS RTF ARC," says MAPPS President Susan Marlow. "MAPPS has actively called on the FAA to move forward with UAS rulemaking, and we are thrilled to be a part of the process."

MAPPS has been a consistent voice in the commercial use of UAS for geospatial data acquisition. The association has been engaged with the FAA on UAS issues since 2009 and testified before state legislatures and participated in Congressional roundtables. MAPPS Executive Director John Palatiello was appointed to serve on the FAA working group on beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations of commercial UAS, and the association serves on a committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) to develop policy recommendations to the 50 state legislatures on UAS.

On Nov. 17-18, MAPPS will host sessions on geospatial activities at Drone World Expo, at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, California. The geospatial content will explore factors to consider when planning the start-up of a stand-alone UAS business, or a department in an existing surveying or mapping firm. It will kick off with a presentation on what you need to know before starting up your UAS department, as well as instruction on issues including system operating limitations, flight training, crew responsibilities, operator authority, client expectations, standards and licensing. Speakers at the policy conference will include Bryan Baker, UAS sales manager, Leica Geosystems; Jeff Lovin, senior vice president, director of geospatial services, Woolpert; Andy Nickerson of Aerovel Corp.; Mike Tully, president, Aerial Services Inc.; and David Yoel, CEO, American Aerospace Inc.


MAPPS is a national association of firms in the surveying, spatial data and geographic information systems field in the U.S. MAPPS member firms are engaged in surveying, photogrammetry, satellite and airborne remote sensing, aerial photography, hydrography, aerial and satellite image processing, GPS and GIS data collection and conversion services. Their associate members include firms that provide products and services to member firms, as well as other firms world-wide.