The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce today it has approved the deployment of a second unmanned aerial drone to patrol the Texas-Mexico border.
An aide to a member of the Texas Congressional delegation told the Texas Tribune the agency has approved a Certificate of Authorization for the unmanned vehicle to deploy from Corpus Christi. The first drone began making runs over West Texas earlier this month.
Members of the delegation have been clamoring for months that aerial surveillance was needed to supplement the government’s current efforts to secure Texas’ border with Mexico. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn has been the most outspoken of the group, and stated last month he would hold the nomination of Michael Huerta, who was selected by President Obama to the post of FAA Deputy Administrator, until the FAA moved forward with the issue. Huerta's nomination sailed through the Senate committee process but has stalled since.
Cornyn said during a conference call with reporters today that he spoke with FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt and that he intends to lift his hold on Huerta's nomination.
"This was never about Mr. Huerta personally, this is about trying to get the attention of the (Obama) administration and the FAA to work through the bureacratic logjam to begin deployment of these UAVs(unmanned aerial drones), which I think is an essential component of border security," Cornyn said.