By Kyle Garrett – AviationSchoolsOnline.com
The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the use of the first Predator UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) to patrol the U.S./Mexico border between Sierra Vista, AZ and Fort Huachuca, Texas, starting as soon as June 1, 2010. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security initially requested the use of UAVs and plans to bring another Predator online soon to patrol the remainder of the Texas border.
According to a May 15, 2010 article on the El Paso Times web site, the Predator UAV will “look for potential underground tunnels and the travel patterns of drug-trafficking organizations.” The article goes on to say that the Department of Homeland Security has been testing drones for border surveillance since June, 2004.
As UAV technology improves and the uses for UAVs expand, more and more UAV pilots and sensor operators will be needed. Expect to see more schools offering UAV training in the future.