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Secure, reliable information from official national sources essential to functioning of modern state say geospatial experts

Trusted authoritative sources of spatial information are fundamental requirements of a modern state, says EuroGeographics, the membership Association for European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authorities (NMCAs).

The Ninth Session of the United Nations global geospatial information management (UN-GGIM) committee of experts held in New York recently heard how official data from its members underpins secure and reliable land registration, as well as quicker, more effective responses to emergencies.

Mick Cory, Secretary General and Executive Director of the international not-for-profit organisation, welcomed the Framework for Effective Land Administration and in particular its alignment with the Integrated Geospatial Information Framework.

He commented: “According to a recent UN report, around 70 per cent of the global population do not enjoy secure land and property rights. Urgent action is therefore needed to document, record and recognise people’s many different relationships to land and help create a more equitable world.

“More than half of our members focus on property rights and registration. By responding to the changing needs of society with relevant, timely and trusted data, they are making a key contribution to the public good. Indeed, many also work internationally using their expertise to help establish more certain and precise land registration across the world.”

“We support the proposal for global consultation to enable constructive responses to be prepared from all interested stakeholders, including EuroGeographics’ members through our Cadastre and Land Registry Knowledge Exchange Network, a valuable forum for sharing best practice.”

Mr Cory also highlighted the important role of authoritative data sources in planning, responding to and recovering from disasters during discussions on the UN-GGIM Strategic Framework on Geospatial Information and Services for Disasters Assessment Survey. 

He said: “This role needs to be clearly stated, recognised and funded by national governments as part of national implementation plans. Such authoritative data should be supplemented where necessary from other sources, but authoritative, core reference geospatial data sets are a fundamental requirement for risk reduction and management in cases of disaster, and should be a core public task for national mapping bodies.”

“Geospatial information providers should engage with the disaster risk reduction and management community, so that baseline datasets are accessible, usable and interoperable.”

EuroGeographics also reconfirmed its active support for the integrated global geospatial information framework and stressed the importance of developing a common approach to country level action plans to avoid duplication of effort.

Mr Cory encouraged further engagement and collaboration, not only between the key international partners, but other international and nati to further facilitate access to EuroGeographics members through its extensive programme of activities for sharing expertise and knowledge.

He also noted the potential for using the framework and implementation guide as a means of benchmarking and strengthening more mature national and regional geospatial arrangements, not just for low-middle income and developing states, and encouraged Member States to volunteer to do this to validate such potential.

EuroGeographics and its members look forward to responding to the global consultation on the integrated global geospatial information framework.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a request for information (RFI) las week asking unmanned aerial systems (UAS or drone) stakeholders for input regarding the creation of a new aeronautical knowledge test for recreational drone operators. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 (the Act) requires new conditions to operate recreational small UAS; however, right now, many drones can be flown with minimal (or no) training or knowledge of aviation rules or safety practices. However, the FAA views the Act as a new opportunity to educate recreational operators on safety and to bring new flyers up-to-speed on the aviation safety culture.

The Act requires that recreational drone operators pass an aeronautical knowledge and safety test that demonstrates the operator’s understanding of aeronautical safety knowledge and rules for operating UAS. However, the test content will be developed by the FAA in conjunction with stakeholders pursuant to this RFI.

Specifically, the RFI is looking for entities to become testing designees to administer the training and the testing to a wide audience, and to develop a standard electronic record that will be issued to the operator upon completion of the test. This documentation could be requested from the operator by the FAA or local law enforcement.