CBP Expands Northern Border Unmanned Aircraft Systems Capabilities Office of Air and Marine Unmanned Aircraft Now Fly to West Coast

Washington – On January 20, 2011, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Air and Marine Predator B aircraft successfully completed the first long-range unmanned aircraft patrol to utilize the expanded certificate of authorization (COA) that was issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) this week—increasing the effectiveness of homeland security unmanned aircraft missions in support of counternarcotics, counterterrorism and border security operations.

With cooperation and assistance from the FAA, the newly issued COA expands CBP’s approved airspace along the northern border by nearly 900 miles and allows CBP Predator-B aircraft to fly from the Lake-of-the-Woods region of Minnesota to the vicinity of Spokane, Washington.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.