No Fly Zone: FAA Shuts Down Fox News Drone Exposing Border Crisis

No Fly Zone: FAA Shuts Down Fox News Drone Exposing Border Crisis


In an apparent attempt to cover up the border crisis, the Biden administration has shut down Fox News’s ability to fly their drone over the U.S.-Mexico border to report on the border crisis, which swelled in August and again in the last 24-hours.

On Thursday’s Special Report, national correspondent Bill Melugin showed the over 9,000-person crowd of illegals under the international bridge. But on Tucker Carlson Tonight, two hours later, he was forced to report that the FAA had issued a temporary flight restriction or TFR over the entire area.

“Stunning footage out of Del Rio, Texas on Thursday. As our Fox Flight Team drone shows thousands of migrants crammed under the international bridge waiting to be processed after crossing illegally into the United States,” he reported on Special Report.

He added: “Our drones spotted masses of migrants crossing from Ciudad Acuna Mexico over a dam in the Rio Grande and into the United States illegally. They then stream into Del Rio via dirt path, hundreds coming by the hour with more on the way every day.”

Melugin bolstered his reporting with a statement from “a law enforcement source” who said “as of Thursday afternoon there were well over 9,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, waiting under that bridge.” According to Melugin, the number of people under the bridge doubled in 24-hours. “[L]ocal Border Patrol holding facilities are well overcapacity,” he explained.

 

 

While on with Carlson, he broke the news that the FAA was shutting them down. “What does that mean? It means our drone can no longer fly and show those images,” he said. “It is a two-week TFR, and according to the FAA, it is for special security reasons. We’ve reached out to the FAA to get a little clarification on what the heck that means.”

Noting that the “timing on this, the location, a little bit curious,” Melugin explained that they’ve been there almost “seven months now” and there’s “never been an issue” with them flying the drone. “All of a sudden, the last 24-hours, we start showing images at this bridge and a TFR goes up, we can no longer fly. When we can update from the FAA we will be sure to let you know.”

The development was news to Carlson, who told Melguin that “our company will ignore the FAA. They have no right to shut down newsgathering. They don’t own the news.”

 

 

On Twitter, Melugin expanded on the FAA’s restrictions (see above), even providing a map of the restricted area. “We’ve learned that the FAA just implemented a two week TFR (Temporary Flight Restrictions) over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX, meaning we can no longer fly our FOX drone over it to show images of the thousands of migrants. FAA says ‘special security reason,’” he wrote.

In a statement shared by Melugin, the FAA contented: “The Border Patrol requested the temporary flight restriction due to drones interfering with law enforcement flights on the border.” Adding: “As with any temporary flight restriction, media is able to call the FAA to make requests to operate in the area.”

 

 

Now, given that the FAA says that the media can make a request for flight clearance, we have to wait and see if Fox News gets granted that access.

The relevant portions of the transcripts are below, click “expand” to read:

Fox News Channel’s Special Report
September 16, 2021
6:30:15 p.m. Eastern

BRET BAIER: We have alarming new images tonight from the southern border. Huge numbers of illegal immigrants masked at the border in del Rio, Texas, hoping to come into this country. Correspondent bill Melugin is there and shows us tonight.

[Cuts to video]

BILL MELUGIN: Stunning footage out of Del Rio, Texas on Thursday. As our Fox Flight Team drone shows thousands of migrants crammed under the international bridge waiting to be processed after crossing illegally into the United States.

From the ground the size of the crowd shows the size of the task that undermanned Border Patrol agents will have to deal with, with a law enforcement source telling me as of Thursday afternoon there were well over 9,000 migrants, mostly Haitians, waiting under that bridge. A doubling of the numbers in just 24 hours. While local Border Patrol holding facilities are well overcapacity.

Our drones spotted masses of migrants crossing from Ciudad Acuna Mexico over a dam in the Rio Grande and into the United States illegally. They then stream into Del Rio via dirt path, hundreds coming by the hour with more on the way every day.

(…)

FNC’s Tucker Carlson Tonight
September 16, 2021
8:03:17 p.m. Eastern

MELUGIN: We just learned that the FAA has put out a temporary flight restriction, a TFR, in the area immediately around the port of entry where that bridge is. What does that mean? It means our drone can no longer fly and show those images.

It is a two-week TFR, and according to the FAA, it is for special security reasons. We’ve reached out to the FAA to get a little clarification on what the heck that means. The timing on this, the location, a little bit curious.

I just want to point out, Fox News has been at the border for the better part of seven months now. We’ve been using the drone the entire time. It has never been an issue. All of a sudden, the last 24-hours, we start showing images at this bridge and a TFR goes up, we can no longer fly. When we can update from the FAA we will be sure to let you know.

But unfortunately for those agents on the ground, they are completely overwhelmed. They need some serious help right now and hopefully, they get it from the federal government. We’ll send it back to you.

TUCKER CARLSON: That’s the first I’m hearing of this, Bill. I sincerely – and I haven’t talked to lawyers about it – I sincerely hope our company will ignore the FAA. They have no right to shut down newsgathering. They don’t own the news.

(…)





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