Customs and Border Protection recently received the Predator B unmanned aircraft at the National Air Security Operations Center in Sierra Vista, Ariz. This is the second unmanned aircraft in supplemental budget provisions identified in August 2010.
CBP’s unmanned aircraft systems operate under several FAA-approved certificates of authorization that enable CBP to deploy a UAS in the national airspace. The agency identified Arizona as a location for its ninth UAS to support its air and marine strategic plan for securing the U.S.-Mexico border.
On the southwest border, the first certificate allows access into Texas from Arizona to just west of the Big Bend border area. The second certificate enables CBP to launch and recover a UAS from the Naval Air Station in Corpus Christi, Texas, and to operate along the entire Texas land border with Mexico, including the coast and over open water.