Texas EquuSearch is a drone operating company, based in a Houston suburb, that uses small drones, in their case, model aircraft equipped with cameras, in searches for missing persons. Or at least they used to, before the Federal government put a stop to their effrontery. The FAA has ordered them to cease because the FAA doesn’t have a rule that allows for such a thing.
Texas EquuSearch has an appeal before the DC Circuit court, but in the meantime, they’re barred from helping various other government agencies—like local police—conduct their searches.
The FAA has rationalized its decision with this:
The agency approves emergency Certificates of Authorization (COAs) for natural disaster relief, search and rescue operations, and other urgent circumstances, sometimes in a matter of hours.
“In a matter of hours.” When the bad man comes and seconds count, the FAA will be only hours away. Sometimes. Other times, well, sorry about that.
In addition to which, “many law enforcement agencies in rural areas being searched don’t have the authorization certificates to use drones.”
The FAA went on with this appallingly arrogant remark:
We are not aware that any government entity with an existing COA has applied for an emergency naming Texas EquuSearch as its contractor.
Because a business requires government permission, at the least in the form of a government contract, before it can go about its affairs. Aside from this small matter, what problem does the FAA think it’s solving with its…position?
Yeah, that’s what I thought, too.