CBP seeks guidance for drone integration

CBP seeks guidance for drone integration

It’s no secret the Federal Aviation Administration has been cautious in integrating unmanned systems into the national airspace, which has frustrated business owners and general aviation enthusiasts. Agencies, too, it seems, would like to see more clarity on the rules for operating small UAS.  

Officials from Customs and Border Protection told members of a House committee that the lack of rules and standards governing UAS use is preventing them from deploying small drones to patrol the borders. 

“We can probably work out a [Certificate of Waiver or Authorization] and carve out a piece of airspace to work these smaller platforms in, but there’s still no rules issued to actually operate these things big picture across the board,” CBP’s Executive Assistant Commissioner Maj. Gen. Randolph Alles told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee at a hearing that discussed the potential use of small, tactical drones to help secure the borders.

While CBP’s U.S. Border Patrol is working on a tactical UAS program, “that’s really to develop a COA …[to] apply the technology and see how it works before we move forward to any kind of procurement,” Alles said.  “There’s still no rules issued to actually operate these things big picture across the board.”

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.


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