SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale) this week introduced Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 6, which would designate California as one of six testing sites for unmanned aircraft systems commonly known as drones. This measure would specifically request that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) designate California as one of these test sites.
“The Antelope Valley has long been a great place to build and test state-of-the-art aeronautics,” said Assemblymember Fox. “Bringing drone testing to our community will create jobs and utilize existing facilities throughout the district.”
AJR-6 directs the FAA to determine the safest designation of airspace for drone operation and establish safe navigational procedures before unmanned aircraft systems are tested above urban and rural communities.
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International reports that the drone industry has the potential to create 100,000 manufacturing jobs. While many jobs associated with drones have been held only by military personnel, positions now are becoming available for civilians as well. In 2012, the FAA estimated that 10,000 drones will be operating within the United States in the next five years.
“The Antelope Valley still has very high unemployment and too many out-of-work veterans,” said Fox. “By bringing testing to the Valley we will be creating thousands of jobs and employing recently separated veterans who already have experience working with these unmanned aircraft.”
Joint resolutions are bills passed by both houses of the California Legislature that alert the Federal Government as to specific requests or opinions. Once approved, they are sent to Congress. They do not require approval from the Governor.
To view the text of AJR 6, please visit http://leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0001-0050/ajr_6_bill_20130128_introduced.htm.
(Information via press release from the office of Assemblymember Steve Fox.)