The nine drones were grounded when a mechanical problem forced
operators to crash one of the pilotless aircraft on January 28 off
the Southern California coast.
"Effective today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has lifted the
temporary grounding of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems," spokesman
Michael Friel said in an email.
Initial findings from an investigation of the crash showed that the
$12 million drone's generator failed and that the flight crew
reacted properly, he said.
"Appropriate mechanical steps" have been taken to address potential
problems on the other aircraft, Friel said.
The California crash was the second by one of the agency's drones
since it began using the unmanned aerial surveillance technology in
[to top of second column]
The Customs drones are Predator B models made by privately held
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. They are used to spot illegal
border crossers and narcotics traffickers.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; editing by Lisa Shumaker)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.