Post Appeal, decision shows that UAS and FAA work together

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The Texas volunteer group, EquuSearch, which uses UASs to find missing people, successfully sought and received FAA authorization to use these aircraft in their efforts to search a specific woman. After a torrent of criticism from the UAS community, this shows that the FAA can respond.

Several months ago EquuSearch responded to a FSDO’s “cease and desist” letter by appealing to the US Court of Appeals challenging the document as a final order. The Court dismissed the petition because the FAA letter did not rise to the kind of agency policy upon which courts may rule. The opinion also recited a section of the letter to EquuSearch in which the FAA recited procedures by which the group might obtain permission to use their UASs.

This story indicates that EquuSearch now understands that the FAA proposed, in its “cease and desist” letter, how they could “request and operate”. Hopefully this positive outcome will send a message that, while the agency’s process may feel like an imposition, the FAA can and will respond to permit reasonable UAS flights.

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