The Department of Homeland Security plans to fly unmanned aircraft over the vast majority of the border with Canada, DHS officials testified to lawmakers Friday.
John S. Beutlich, director of the northern region office of air and marine operations at Customs and Border Protection, told the panel that DHS, with authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, can now operate drones between Washington state and Minnesota.
“We are actively working with the FAA to bridge that gap that is between the eastern edge of the current certificate of authorization area in Minnesota down to the area in New York,” where DHS also has limited unmanned flight operations, Beutlich said. “This is a very heavily air-trafficked area when you consider the amount of commercial aviation. So we’re working with the FAA, because of the safety concerns that we have to have for the general aviation airspace to make that happen.”