After a federal appeals court ruled that an e-mail correspondence it received from the FAA earlier this year informing them of the agency’s policy regarding drones was not legally binding, a Texas-based search group says it will resume using drones in their search missions.
Texas EquuSearch had sued the Federal Aviation Administration, seeking to overturn what the group described as an order it had been sent in February by email prohibiting the nonprofit organization from using drones. – Read more at:
The FAA had argued in a June letter to the court that anyone wishing to operate an aircraft in the United States – other than hobbyists operating model aircraft – must obtain FAA approval. “The challenged email communication from a Federal Aviation Administration employee did not represent the consummation of the agency’s decision-making process, nor did it give rise to any legal consequences,” according to the court decision filed on Friday. – Read more:
According to the reports above, the FAA itself had said that the email communication against using drones was not a formal cease-and-desist order, which follows a formal investigation.
In the absence still of a formal ruling on the use of drones, the FAA wants anyone who wishes to fly drones that are not for hobby or private use to seek its permission. Now that a federal court has ruled in favor of Texas EquuSearch, the search group is legally free to fly its drones for their work.