SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale) announced this week that he has been appointed to serve as a member of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, the deliberative body tasked with monitoring aerospace technology, workers, and corporate rules that affect over 1,000 companies that comprise the aerospace industry in California.
The committee is expected to help determine California’s role in the development of an industry to create Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS), more commonly called drones, in California.
“The aerospace industry has historically been a source of positive investment in the state and the district,” said Fox in a news release. “This appointment is an excellent opportunity to look for ways to get people back to work in new, high paying jobs.”
One potential job creating bill is Fox’s own Assembly Bill 737 that seeks to establish California as a manufacturing and testing site for drones.
The bill would create a commission within the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO Biz) to market California as a viable research venue for the unmanned aircraft.
Between 1998 and 2006, the state’s aerospace industry reported losing over 20% of its aircraft and component manufacturing sectors. While aerospace electronic component manufacturing has remained strong, the industry as a whole has recently experienced downward pressure due to the global economic recession.
Should California secure a spot as one of six testing sites for UAS, this decline could turn into an opportunity to bring tens of thousands of high paying jobs to the state, according to Fox.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International reports that the drone industry has the potential to create 100,000 civilian manufacturing jobs. In 2012, the FAA estimated that 10,000 drones will be operating within the United States in the next five years.
For more information, visit www.asmdc.org/fox.
(Information via press release from the office of Assemblymember Steve Fox.)