GovTech Reports: FAA Lets Maine Search and Rescue Group Deploy Drones

A Maine-based search and rescue organization has become the first civilian entity of its type to receive permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to use unmanned aircraft systems, or drones.

The authorization granted to Down East Emergency Medicine Institute on April 6 allows it to operate two drones it purchased from a southern Maine manufacturer — one of them a fixed-wing model and the other a larger multi-rotor version — to fly at altitudes of 200 feet or lower so long as it abides by certain guidelines, according to documents provided by the FAA.  “The great thing is it will save lives,” DEEMI Director Richard Bowie said.

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