Assemblymember Fox on drone test site hearing

Steve Fox

Steve Fox

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Steve Fox, a member of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, issued the following statement about Tuesday’s hearing on marketing California as a viable test site for unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones:

“California has a golden opportunity to put thousands of gifted, experienced people to work. Unmanned aerial vehicles are clearly going to be a part of our future and we have the capacity and the desire to be leaders in this technology. It is my hope that the two entities that [are] currently engaged in drafting applications to the FAA can come together for California’s collective well-being and its unemployed aerospace workers.”

Fox has introduced a bill, AB 737, to create a commission tasked with applying to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to designate California as a test site for Unmanned Aviation Systems.

The hearing included a discussion between CAL UAS, the consortium and sponsor of Fox’s bill and Ventura County.  Both organizations submitted preliminary applications to the FAA earlier this month.

The committee focused the discussion on understanding the differences in the two positions while looking for ways to bring both applicants together to submit one application.

Fox’s bill will be heard before the Assembly Jobs, Economy and Economic Development Committee in April.

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.  As such, the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 directed the federal agency to establish a research and testing program to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the national airspace.

For more information on Fox’s position on drones, visit

(Information via press release from the office of Assemblymember Steve Fox.)

  13 comments for “Assemblymember Fox on drone test site hearing

  1. Adam Chant
    March 25, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Read this article for some civilian uses for drones.

  2. mattzweck
    March 24, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    just get a hacker to hack in to the drones re direct them and that would do it.

  3. Mayor Ledford
    March 22, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    In a perfect world both efforts would find a common application to be supported by our entire State and this bill will accomplish that if passed. Good effort Assemblyman Fox

  4. ed
    March 21, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Any member of the Assembley Select Committee on Aerospace ever hear of a document called The Constitution of The United States of America?

    • Michael Rives
      March 21, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      Our government is conducting an undeclared war all over the Mideast and Near East using drones. Our Congress, apparently, has acquiesed to this declaration of war. Now, our government wants to use drones in the United States. (Lancaster is already ahead of the feds because we have the ‘spy plane’ (Leaps) flying over us.) If we allow drones to be tested, produced, etc. in the High Desert, we are biting off our noses to spite our face, so to speak. Do you conservatives want liberty or drones?

      • some guy
        March 22, 2013 at 8:23 am

        A drone is just a platform. As the city spy plane shows, you can do the same with a normal aircraft. Lets worry about the cameras and other sensors, and how they are used.

        There are a lot of uses for drones in the civilian world, so there is a need to figure out how to fly them in the national airspace.

      • Adam Chant
        March 22, 2013 at 9:20 am

        The Google autonomous vehicle was tested in the AV recently and not but a very few batted an eye as it drove around the AV and even parked on the BLVD for lunch.

        Probably 90% of all UAV’s (including every single Predator ever made) is flight tested in and around the greater Antelope Valley. It equates to many thousands of jobs in our community and many more in the future.
        It’s extremely ignorant to assume that everyone including the ACLU is going to ignore the constitution just because the pilot is relocated from the vehicle in the sky to a trailer on the ground in direct control of that vehicle.

        Like ‘some guy’ once said.. It’s not the vehicle we need to worry about it’s the sensors that can be affixed to those vehicles.

        The scope of civilian commercial usage of UAV’s in the future is almost limitless, but if people are going to only look at it as a weapon of war then we will all be lost. A Large majority of the technology we take for granite today was developed through military applications and adapted for commercial use.
        Stay involved and in the conversation. It’s a tool and lets dictate how we use it to better our situation not how we should ban its existence because of the potential for evil.

        • J. Ripper
          March 25, 2013 at 10:42 am

          Why did a self-driving car need to stop for lunch? ;-)

  5. Mace
    March 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    What a joke. Steve Fox introduces a bill to form a commission, to ask the FAA a favor. Merits of the favor aside, what a gutless, toothless way to do anything.

    • Stinger
      March 21, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      Clearly, you do not understand how things are done in government at the state and federal levels. This is within the normal systemic formats.

  6. Palmdale_Steve
    March 20, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    I’m still not sure I would buy a used UAV or a used car from this gentleman.

  7. Rusty Shackleford
    March 20, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Thats bad news. California is bad enough as it is. The last thing we need is drones.

    • Stinger
      March 21, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      So, Rusty here doesn’t want more high-tech, and high paying, jobs in California. Seems to feel that this will only drag ol’ California down.

Comments are closed.