WASHINGTON, January 7 (Sputnik) — The US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) unmanned aircraft program did not make US borders more secure, but resulted in excessive spending, a report released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of the Inspector General said.
According to audit findings, drones were in the air only 22 percent of the initially planned time and covered only nine percent of the length of the border they were assigned to monitor. Additionally, it was discovered that the program cost $12,255 per flight hour, instead of the originally estimated $2,468 per hour.
“The $443 million CBP plans to spend on program expansion could be put to better use by investing in alternatives,” the report concluded.
CBP could not prove the effectiveness of the program as it has never developed performance measures.
CBP guards almost 7,000 miles of US land border and 2,000 miles of coastal water. From 2005 to 2013, the agency spent about $360 million on the purchase of drones.