FOIAFAA2013C_pd_001Aircraft system (redacted). Aircraft specifications for the Predator B drone. The vehicle can fly up to 50,000 feet, and can carry an external payload of 3000 lbs. The document describes the Predator B as a”long endurance, high altitude unmanned vehicle designed to support long-duration surveillance missions.”
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_002Aircraft system. Photo of Predator B in flight.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_003COA (Redacted). “This COA request is for a National Security/Homeland Security Mission.” COA is a renewal of COA 2008-WSA-6. Details regarding departure base and operational area are redacted. The COA was sought under the purview of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol operating from March Air Reserve Base in California.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_004COA special circumstances (redacted). Redacted details of “additional risk mitigation” steps.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_005COA status document 2 (redacted). COA issued to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol by the FAA for the operation of a Predator B drone on a (redacted) mission. The drone is being operated out of the Air Force Base Grand Forks. COA notes that “dropping any object or hazardous materials outside of active restricted areas is prohibited.” COA also notes that it is CBP’s responsibility to resolve conflicts between the FAA’s COA and local laws.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_006COA status document 3 (redacted). Addendum to certificate of authorization 2009-WSA-92.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_007COA status document 4. Memorandum of April 14, 2011 from Dean Fulmer of the FAA regarding changes to visual observer criteria and cloud cover/visibility criteria affecting U.S. Customs and Border Patrol COAs. Memo states that “the dropping or spraying of aircraft stores, or carrying of hazardous materials (included ordinance) outside of active Restricted, Prohibited, or Warning Areas is prohibited unless specifically authorized in the Special Provisions of this COA.”
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_008COA status document 5 (redacted). Addendum to certificate of authorization 2009-WSA-92. Addendum valid November 11, 2011.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_009COA status document 6 (redacted). Memorandum of December 14, 2010 from Ardyth Williams of the FAA. “Certificate of authorization pen and ink change.”
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_010COA status document 7 (redacted). Memorandum of December 3, 2010 from Ardyth Williams of the FAA. Memo appears to change details regarding the flight termination point, and the emergency procedures.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_011COA status document (redacted). Notes that financial responsibility for flight mishaps rests with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_012Communications 2 (redacted). Redacted details of aircraft communications.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_013Communications 3 (redacted). Redacted details of aircraft communications.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_014Communications (redacted). Redacted details of aircraft communications.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_015Control Station (redacted). Redacted details of Predator B control station.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_016Control Station. Photograph of drone control station.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_017Control Station 2. Photograph of drone control station.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_018Control Station 3. Photograph of drone control station.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_019ELEC systems (redacted). Redacted notes regarding electronic surveillance and detection equipment. Available details describe a “nose forward EO/IR camera,” plus other cameras and transponder devices.
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_020Emergency Procedure (redacted).
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_021Flight Operations Map 2 (redacted).
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_022Flight Operations Map 3 (redacted).
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_023Flight Operations Map (redacted).
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_024Launch recovery (redacted).
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_025Lost communications (redacted).
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_026Lost Link Mission (redacted)
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_027Lost Link Mission (redacted)
FOIAFAA2013C_pd_028No certificate (redacted). Letter of November 12, 2009 to the FAA from an unknown individual in the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. (The name of the letter writer has been redacted.) Letter sets out CBP’s attestations regarding the airworthy nature of its fleet of Predator B drones. Letter details the evaluation steps taken by CBP, and states that the initial test plan is developed by the drone manufacturer.