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UAV and Commercial Air Traffic Share the Sky

UAV and Commercial Air Traffic Share the Sky

In the world of GIS, there are many tools and technologies which can be used to meet the exact needs of the customer.  For example, mobile apps are now the way to go. Rather than having to log into a separate computer, complex GIS analysis, and even full color and detailed rich maps are just a fingertip away with the Smartphone.

But, there is another new technology out there which is making its way to the forefront for surveying land masses from far up above.  This new technology is known as the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV for short.  It was first used by the United States military for campaigns against the war on terrorism.  But now, UAVs have become widely accessible to even the public at large.

Nowadays, you can see many people flying these UAVs in corn fields, forest preserves, and yes, even public parking lots.  However, there have even been some well-documented mishaps which have occurred with much larger commercial aircraft as they take off and land at the airports.

It is not just here in the United States where these incidents have happened, but also in Europe, especially in Germany.  In response to this, the Federal Government has finally established a set of laws, rules, and regulations, as to how UAV traffic is supposed to co-mingle with commercial air traffic.  These laws were presented to the German public from October 11-13, 2016 during the INTERGEO Conference.

This conference was essentially a trade show, which was meant for GIS, Geodesy, and Land Management professionals.  According to Uwe Nortmann, the Managing Director at UAV DACH: “The geo-industry has brought the breakthrough for the widespread use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)” (SOURCE:

GeoTel is a telecommunications research and GIS mapping firm that researches and provides telecom datasets for more than 7000 cities in the United States and worldwide. GeoTel’s expertise includes specialists in economic geography, geospatial engineering, web GIS, and telecommunications GIS Data infrastructure.

Valerie Stephen