Court ruling in FAA suit prompts Texas group to resume drone use in hunts for missing people

A Texas-based group involved in searches for missing persons around the nation says it will resume using drones in its work after an appeals court ruled a warning the group received to stop using them didn't have any legal consequences.

Texas EquuSearch had sued the Federal Aviation Administration, seeking to overturn what the group described as an order sent in February by email prohibiting the nonprofit organization from using drones.

A three-judge panel for a federal appeals court Washington, D.C., on Friday dismissed the lawsuit, ruling it can't review the case because the email didn't represent the FAA's final conclusion on the use of drones. Final rules on drone use are expected next year.

FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford said the agency would issue a statement on the ruling later Friday.