FAA imposes flight restrictions over TX bridge where over 10,000 migrants have taken shelter

FAA imposes flight restrictions over TX bridge where over 10,000 migrants have taken shelter
A ground-level view of the thousands of migrants sheltering under the Del Rio bridge. Law enforcement video via Bill Melugin, Twitter

On Thursday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) imposed temporary flight restrictions (TFR) on the air space over the Del Rio, Texas international bridge, where thousands of migrants have gathered in the last three days to await “apprehension” by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

This move appears to have been taken a few hours after Fox News reporter Bill Melugin updated the migrant count under the bridge to 8,200 on 16 September, and to have occurred about the same time Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) showed up at the bridge to obtain a brief on the situation and broadcast his findings.

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Cruz tweeted later that the migrant count has already grown to over 10,000 in less than a day.

As Bill Melugin points out, the TFR by the FAA will prevent the Fox drone from getting video or still imagery of the conditions around the bridge.

It’s technically possible to use a drone (or manned aircraft) with imaging and video capability from a greater standoff.  But the air space for that would still have to remain available, whether in Mexico or from a greater distance in the U.S.  Moreover, at higher altitude (higher than 400 feet) a drone would require an FAA waiver to operate. something the FAA could issue a blanket denial for anyway.

The area of the TFR at the Texas border. Graphic source: Bill Melugin via Twitter

Bill Melugin does obtain ground-level video on a regular basis, but even the most dramatic images (like our feature image above) don’t convey the same information as the synoptic imagery a drone can obtain from the air.  See the images included in Melugin’s tweet on the TFR.

It appears clear that the Biden administration wants to limit the flow of information on this topic.

Fox’s Tucker Carlson vows the news channel will fight the clampdown.

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.


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