Geo Week News

July 24, 2013

Geospatial firms' group retains legal counsel for aerial 3D data acquisition issues


MAPPS says photogrammetry,remote sensing technologies not understood but no threat to aviation safety

MAPPS, the national association for private sector geospatial firms, said Wednesday it signed a deal with Wash., D.C.-based The Aviation Law Firm (TALF) to provide legal advice on issues related to aerial 3D data acquisition.

“With advancements in aerial acquisition and airborne remote sensing technology and the introduction of unmanned aerial systems, we believe having legal counsel in this important and specialized field is advantageous to addressing aviation related issues,” said John Palatiello, MAPPS executive director.

Counsel will be provided by TALF’s Greg Winton, a former trial attorney for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Department of Justice. The agreement was announced at MAPPS Summer Conference in Rockland, Maine.

“The issues that are confronted by MAPPS often result from a misunderstanding of the aerial acquisition activities causing erroneous categorizations within regulations, which are not a threat to aviation safety,” said Winton.

Despite MAPPS’ efforts to demonstrate to Congress and the FAA the safe use of lidar and remote sensors to collect 3D data, new regulatory guidelines in the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2012 is throwing up obstacles for MAPPS members to plan for the future.

“Photogrammetry and remote sensing technologies operate in a niche within general aviation, but not everyone understands our operations,” said MAPPS Aerial Acquisition Committee Chairman Richard Crouse, of Richard Crouse & Associates, Inc., based in Frederick, Md. “This partnership is meant to protect the membership and the profession from unintended over-regulation.”

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