MAPPS has submitted comments to the
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on its proposed "Certification of Airborne Surveillance and Searchlight Systems Using Lasers
or Infrared Searchlights in 14 CFR parts 27 and 29 Rotorcraft,” a rule that
could harm the aerial LIDAR mapping market.
Over the past
few months, the FAA has made it increasingly difficult for operators to perform
aerial LIDAR missions by classifying mapping LIDAR as a harmful laser. With the
help of LiDAR manufacturers and operators that make up the MAPPS membership,
the association has been working with the FAA to address this issue. However,
just like the "laser pointer” law that started the confusion, the MAPPS
membership has been diligent in commenting on similar directives that could
affect the use of LIDAR technologies.
systems used for mapping are neither surveillance nor searchlight systems. However,
language in the proposed policy that includes "installations of fully enclosed
laser device..” can sweep the surveying and mapping LiDAR systems into the FAA
regulatory scheme. This blanket policy, without knowledge of the niche mapping
LiDAR market could affect many LIDAR businesses.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the
determining government body for classification and ratings of laser systems.
MAPPS member firms that are producers of airborne mapping LIDAR instrumentation
all comply with 21
CFR 1040.10. These LIDAR systems are
designed to be used as airborne mapping systems with careful attention to
design and manufacture for the airborne environment.
has already taken place within FAA, MAPPS is seeking a specific exemption for
mapping LiDAR in 14 CFR parts 27 and 29 Rotorcraft.
Firms that manufacture
LiDAR systems and geospatial professionals who perform collection services are
encouraged to submit
comments to the FAA prior to the August 31