Scathing Audit On Border Agency Drones Comes As Police Interest Rises
by Ali Winston, Center for Investigative Reporting
On Tuesday, Department of Homeland Security Inspector General John Roth released a scathing audit of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles to patrol the United States’ land and sea borders since 2007. Relying on documents, flight and incident reports and interviews with personnel, the inspector general concluded that there was no evidence that the agency’s 10 unarmed Predator B drones had improved border security or aided in apprehensions or drug interdictions.
Furthermore, the inspector general’s report claims the border agency drastically underreported the cost of its drone program, finding the Predator B’s cost $12,255 per flight hour to operate, as opposed to the federal agency’s own calculation of $2,468 per hour.