FAA Says Border Patrol Asked For Del Rio Drone Ban


Republican politicians are demanding an investigation into the FAA’s decision to ban drone flights over a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, that was the site of a mass encampment of migrants. The GOP is alleging the move was politically motivated and designed to prevent images embarrassing to the Biden administration from being gathered by media outlets. The FAA said the Dec. 16 flight restriction was imposed at the request of the Border Patrol to keep drones out of the way of its aircraft and that exemptions were granted for at least three media outlets.

Although the camp, which grew to include more than 15,000 people at one point, has been cleared, the drone ban for those without exemptions remains in effect until Sept. 30. The FAA has also established a TFR over a nature reserve near Venice, Florida, as searchers look for fugitive Brian Laundrie. Laundrie is wanted on warrants related to the disappearance and death of his fiancé Gabby Pettito, whose body was found in Wyoming last week. Laundrie was last seen leaving his parents’ home in North Port, Florida, and said he was going to the nature preserve. The TFR is three nautical miles across and goes up to 1200 feet. 

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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    • Only “undocumented Democratic drones” allowed around that area. Seeing that it is politically driven and the Joe Biden violates laws and has to be trounced on by the SCOTUS, that he has violated established tradition, has not used a lick of common since since in the last 40 years and has now included the FAA into the corrupted Administrations basket, we can expect before he is out of office to ground all civil aircraft in the not too distant future.

      • It concerns me when pilots, people trained for critical thinking resort to hyperbole. Short of alien invasion, WWIII, or some variation of 9/11, there is nothing a President can do to “ground all civil aircraft” unless he wants to shut down all airlines, all freight lines, all rescue hospital flights, all fire fighting flights… That is all civil aviation. Even with 9/11 flights were started back within a week or so.

        Please explain how a President can do this without Congress getting all up in his butt.

        • I have no idea how a president will not faithfully enforce immigration laws (passed by the people’s representatives in Congress) and Congress go along with it.

  1. 1) But did the Border Patrol request the TFR, or did the White House order the Border Patrol to request it?

    The current White House administration’s playbook is to mask their requests by delegating them, including the illegal rent abatement policy.

    2) Where did the 15,000 Del Rio illegals go? They should have all been denied entry, yet the White House spokesperson has admitted they’re in the US, though her numbers don’t add up.

    3) What is actually happening is called gerrymandering. During the Obama administration, it was found that 80% of illegals would vote Democrat. So now 2 million illegals per year are being admitted to the US, mainly to R areas, to influence the vote. Note that during the Cuban protests earlier this year, Democrats were silent because the protests were anti-Marxist. No offer was made to allow emigration from Cuba, yet illegals from 150 other countries are crossing the Mexican border into the US today.

    There was a recent US coup, but it was by Democrats/Marxists – I don’t see any effort to uphold the US Constitution or laws.

    • Lets see here Cubans, Hattians, and Mexicans, Oh my! Syrians, Afghanistan’s, and Iraqis’, OH OH my! Chinese, Russians, and Communists, Oh, Oh, Oh my!

    • Where did they go? Well…

      “About 2,000 Haitian nationals have been taken back to Haiti, and about 8,000 returned to Mexico voluntarily, DHS said. More than 5,000 people will go to removal proceedings or be expelled through the Title 42 public health law.”

      I mean, this is suppose to be about aviation, but come on…”What is actually happening is called gerrymandering”

      No, Gerrymandering is the practice of redrawing congressional districts to favor one party over another in voting. It is a practice that should be removed from parties and performed by independent agencies. As to the next part, illegals cannot vote in this country and there has been no, none, nada proof of voter fraud in that regard. Even if they want to vote democratic, they cannot till they become citizens which can take many years. Are you saying that this country only allow people in that want to vote republican because that is not very American an ideal. If immigrants eventually get citizenship and vote democratic it may be because they left an authoritarian regime and don’t want o to live under another one. I mean, your not advocating we support an authoritarian government that tells people who and how they should vote, right?

      Anyway, some drones banned, some allowed to video so in the end, this was really a non-issue and bearly aviation related, but that’s how it rolls sometimes.

      • You have no idea what you’re talking about.

        What the Biden administration is doing with “Open Borders” is handing a packet to each illegal with free transportation, apartments and health care to them.

        The packet says they should report to DHS later, but then says it’s optional (no penalty.) Currently only 13% have reported on time.

        In the case of Afghanis, they’re allowing child brides in with older men. (Islam allows marriage as young as 6 years old.)

        It’s hard to believe, but this has been well-reported. The fact that Biden and Harris won’t visit active border crossings and have banned drone videos is proof they’re hiding something.