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 www.asmdc.org/fox.
(Information via press release from the office of Assemblymember Steve Fox.)