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NSPS Adopts UAS Position Statement

Type:  Featured News  
NSPS Adopts UAS Position Statement
by A. Richard Vanozzi, MS, PLS
Within NSPS, there has been much conversation about the evolving regulations related to the UAS industry and advocating for the surveying and mapping industries needs to employ this technology. The NSPS Board voted to convert the ad-hoc committee on UAS to a permanent committee. The NSPS Board also adopted the following UAS Position Statement:
“Any aerial mapping that rises to the level of usage by surveyors, engineers, governmental agencies, etc. for determining contours on the earth’s surface or the location of fixed works, requires ground survey control meeting current standards of practice. This would include UAS mapping; Existing aerial mapping is produced and identified through one or more of the recognized mapping standards, such as NMAS and ASPRS standards. Some of these standards may not be suitable for UAS mapping and new standards will undoubtedly need to be developed; It is in the surveyors’ interest to take a lead role in working with governmental agencies in establishing policies of usage for UAS technology with respect to mapping. It is in the surveyors’ interest to maintain involvement with UAS technology and become as educated as possible in its usage so that this will represent another tool in the surveyor toolbox.” 
The below rationale was read into the record: 
“Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) technology is a developing industry containing elements of Surveying, Mapping and Remote Sensing among other things. Certain aspects of the use of UAS in gathering mapping data, including some of the mapping data itself, fall clearly under the traditional definition of Surveying and the purview of Surveyors. As the UAS industry advances and sorts itself out, it is in the vested interest of Surveyors in general and The National Society of Professional Surveyors in particular to maintain an active involvement in this technology with an aim toward ensuring the continued high quality and accuracy of topographic, orthographic and possibly other types of mapping produced through the use of cameras and sensors mounted on the equipment. There is already a push within the industry to separate UAS mapping from other existing forms of aerial mapping and to claim exemption from previously developed mapping standards. NSPS can and should bridge this divide, promoting standards of practice for the UAS group and promoting UAS usage for surveyors.”
The motion in regards to the UAS committee charges was as follows:
“NSPS should pursue all of the items identified below actively with said items clearly identified as committee objectives.
  1. NSPS should have a role in getting surveyors involved in UAV/UAS technology and provide surveyors the knowledge to assist in accurate mapping. 
  2. NSPS should define the surveyor’s role in UAS policy to affect initial FAA policy as legislation related to UAS comes up. 
  3. NSPS should assert a role in ensuring that all mapping products from UAV meet the standards of conventional sources. 
  4. NSPS should establish programs to educate clients/end-users of the required skills and certifications to produce accurate maps. 
  5. NSPS should affirm what a surveyor’s role should or could be on a project where UAS mapping is a component. 
  6. NSPS should actively Liaison with ASPRS and UAS associations. 
  7. NSPS should take the lead in developing and implementing UAS curricula for new and existing education programs and certifications. 
  8. NSPS should establish a data bank, via the website to provide the most current laws, regulations and changes from the FAA and related agencies. 
  9. NSPS should foster safe use of airways by responsibly using UAS vehicles without violating or infringing on the safety and privacy rights of others.”




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