The drones that Customs and Border Protection uses for surveillance returned to the air Feb. 7, after the agency suspended flights for nearly two weeks, Reuters reported. One of CBP's ten drones crashed into the Pacific Ocean Jan. 27 following a mechanical failure, prompting the agency to ground its other nine drones while it investigated the crash.
The remaining fleet of nine Customs and Border Protection drones has been grounded after one crashed into the Pacific Ocean Monday night.
Documents newly uncovered via a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit show Customs and Border Protection blurring the line between border security and other law enforcement operations through the frequency of its unmanned aerial vehicle flights on behalf of other agencies, says the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Now that it has approved test sites for unmanned aerial systems, the Federal Aviation Administration is turning its attention to establishing a new center of excellence for drone research. The agency will first need to develop a research agenda for the center, but it plans to begin the selection process later this year, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said during a Jan. 15 hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced Dec. 30 six operators spread across the country that will test the integration of unmanned aerial vehicles into the national airspace.
Although the Coast Guard's recapitalization plan may cost more than what appropriators will provide--potentially up to $29 billion for its full completion--while also being insufficient for the service to perform all of its missions, it offers a look at the assets that will comprise Coast Guard's future. Click here to view the slideshow.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula continues to pose an immediate security threat to Yemen and to the United States, despite the central government's recovery of territory in the south previously under AQAP control, a State Department official told a Nov. 19 House panel.
Mexican panga boats operated by smugglers once were primarily a problem along the southern California coast, but now they're coming as far north as San Francisco, a Coast Guard admiral told a Nov. 19 House panel.
The issues surrounding drones strikes are likely to become more daunting as the technology and others like it evolve, a United Nations report says. The report (.pdf), dated Sept. 13, is from the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.
Government surveillance drones don't present novel threats to privacy, said military and border officials at the US/Canada Border Conference in September. Air Force Col. Greg Semmel, the installation commander at the Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, N.Y., noted that the Air Force and Air National Guard have used optical sensors to track activity on the ground for decades.