SACRAMENTO – A measure that would specifically request the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to designate California as one of six test sites for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) commonly called drones has won approval in the State Assembly with a bipartisan vote of 70-1, according to an announcement by Assemblymember Steve Fox (D-Palmdale).
“The work to make California one of the six FAA designated UAS test and manufacturing sites all boils down to job creation,” said Fox. “Drones could be the next big technological industry for California. Our people have the skill and experience that this field requires, and we are serious about competing for these jobs.”
The Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act of 2012 directed the FAA to integrate drones into the American airspace in the safest possible manner. To comply with this directive, the FAA will designate six unpopulated test sites next month.
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. 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 unmanned vehicles will be operating within the United States in the next five years.
Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 6 now moves to the State Senate. 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.
For more information on Assembly Joint Resolution (AJR) 6, visit www.asmdc.org/fox.
(Information via press release from California Assemblymember Steve Fox, District 36.)