SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Steve Fox announced this week that the Assembly’s Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy has approved Assembly Bill (AB) 737.
This bill, authored Fox, directs the governor’s office to prepare and submit a proposal to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to designate California as a test site for Unmanned Aviation Systems (UAS) more commonly called drones. The measure was approved by a margin 6-0.
“The support this bill received from my fellow committee members is an indication of the importance of California becoming a test and manufacturing site for unmanned vehicles,” Fox said. “Our state needs these aerospace jobs and we have a talented workforce that is ready and able to commit to these projects.”
Two California proposals have already been submitted to the FAA, along with 48 other applications from 30 states. The final deadline to submit a proposal is May 6, 2013.
“It is my hope that this bill will keep pressure on the governor’s office to continue their work with both applicants to present a solid application on behalf of the entire state,” continued Fox. “California has the infrastructure and we need the jobs. Now we should submit the best proposal.”
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International reports that the drone industry has 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.
AB 737 was referred to the Appropriations Committee where it will be heard in special session today (April 12).
For more information, visit www.asmdc.org/fox.
(Information via press release from Assemblymember Steve Fox of California’s 36th Assembly District.)