The European Association of Aerial Surveying Industries (EAASI) closed a successful edition of its Partners Summit last 2 December.
More than 70 representatives from 40 companies connected to the aerial surveying industry gathered in Rome for 3 days to discuss the current challenges of the industry as well as explore new business opportunities. The participants attended a series of presentations, panel discussions, and workshops covering a wide range of topics such as climate change, digital twins, or certification and standardization, among others.
The Summit reached a record of participants and confirmed that the yearly conference organized by EAASI is the most important event of the year for the aerial surveying industry in Europe. The Summit also provides a networking platform and facilitates service providers meeting with end users and manufacturers in a relaxed and sociable atmosphere.
In his introduction, Simon Musäus, EAASI President, elaborated on the value of agility in business models and cooperation to achieve the number one goal of the Association: Sustainability of Aerial Surveying. He thanked the Secretary-General and Board Members for their efforts and highlighted the creation of new partnerships with other stakeholders within the geospatial field, such as EuroSDR, EuroGeographics, EUROGI, and the UNGGIM-PSN. As a particular focus point, he called for a continuation of the increased representation in key events (Geospatial World Forum, FIG Congress, INTERGEO) to promote the association’s role and describe the critical contribution of aerial surveying in all areas of the economy.
One of the key topics of the Summit was sustainable development and how aerial surveying can contribute to monitoring climate change. In this regard, Simon Kay, Deputy Head of Unit at DG CLIMA of the European Commission, presented the first EU-wide voluntary framework to reliably certify high-quality carbon removals.
The proposed regulation will significantly improve the EU’s capacity to quantify, monitor, and verify carbon removals. Higher transparency will ensure trust from stakeholders and the industry and prevent greenwashing. And here is where Kay sees that the aerial surveying industry can contribute significantly:
“Accurate monitoring is where industries like your own play a part and will play an increasing part in the legislation that has been agreed,” said Kay. “Obtaining climate-relevant data compatible with electronic maps will also significantly contribute to improving the quality of national greenhouse gas inventories for the LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry) and improve the quality of forest monitoring activities in line with the upcoming proposal for a regulation on Forest Monitoring,” added. In fact, aerial datasets can play a vital role in quantifying carbon removal activities and in developing new certification methodologies required by the new regulation.
Inje Jonckheere from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) gave an insight into the geospatial work done by the UN in forestry and how remote sensing is used in developing forest inventories and tracking the loss of forest areas in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
A panel of experts moderated by Ed Parsons (Google) discussed the new trends and business opportunities in high-resolution 3D models based on aerial survey data. The speakers represented the industry leaders in processing advanced 3D City models as a base for Digital Twins: ESRI, Melown Technologies/ Hexagon, and Skyline Software.
The event’s sponsors also presented the latest updates and releases in airborne imaging, LiDAR solutions, airborne scanning, and aircraft. The 2022 EAASI Partners Summit was kindly sponsored by ESRI, Hexagon, Phase One, RIEGL, Teledyne Geospatial, Vexcel Imaging, Zeusch Aviation, Diamond Aircraft, and CAE Aviation.
Other highlights of the 3-day Summit included three workshops to address the industry’s current challenges, the external view of aerial surveying by the final clients, and how to advance in the certification and standardization processes.
“The 2022 EAASI Partners Summit had a record attendance, which shows that the aerial surveying industry in Europe is very keen on collaborating to move forward and adapt to new realities. EAASI has been working hard since 2019 to promote aerial mapping and represent the industry in the relevant forums. The Summit offers an excellent opportunity to exchange views, plan the association’s next steps, and engage in discussions about the current challenges and opportunities as we have participants from all the components of the value chain. All companies showed a great interest in cooperation. I hope this interest translates into more active participation in the different activities and working groups we have at EAASI”, said Marcos Martínez-Fernández, Secretary General of the Association.
EAASI Members and Observers can find the Summit´s presentations and other resources on the 2022 Summit webpage in the registered users' area, Events Section.