Border Patrol via Drones Not Effective, IG Says

January 8, 2015  - By
The CBP's unmanned aerial program includes the Predator B aircraft, as well as ground control stations, pilots, sensor operators, video cameras, land and maritime radar, and communication equipment. (CBP Photo)

The CBP’s unmanned aerial program includes the Predator B aircraft, as well as ground control stations, pilots, sensor operators, video cameras, land and maritime radar, and communication equipment. (CBP Photo)

A new report by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General’s office finds that use of unmanned aerial drones to patrol the U.S./Mexico border is not effective. The Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP)¬†Unmanned Aircraft System program has been in operation for eight years.

Problems include a lack of performance measures and sky-high operational costs, according to the report, which was issued January 6.¬†“Specifically, the unmanned aircraft are not meeting flight hour goals, and we found little or no evidence CBP has met its program expectations,” the report said. “We estimate it costs $12,255 per flight hour to operate the program; CBP’s calculation of $2,468 per flight hour does not include all operating costs.”

The $443 million CBP plans to spend on program expansion could be put to better use by using alternative technologies, the IG concluded.

Read the full report below.

OIG_15-17_Dec14.pdf

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