SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Calif. Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) stated today that he was very bullish on the job and commerce opportunities for Ventura County and California as related to the massive aerospace job growth expected in non-military use of unmanned aerial vehicles. The chairman of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Los Angeles), called for a public hearing on the matter for Tuesday, March 19th where legislators will hear testimony on the Federal Aviation Administration’s recent release of a request for proposal allowing regions to compete for selection as one of six future national UAV testing and integration sites.
“As a state, we must unify and marshal all resources to compete and ensure that California is a successful applicant or we will lose an opportunity to create jobs and spur innovation,” stated Assemblyman Gorell. “Other competitive states have been setting the resources and groundwork for their FAA UAV applications for months, and we are going to have to work hard to catch up.”
The select committee’s hearing is entitled “Manufacturing for Global Aviation: California’s strategy to win a federal designation as an unmanned aerial vehicle test site.”
Last month the FAA released a Request for Proposal (RFP) to begin the process of identifying six sites for UAV research and testing. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta stated that this new industry could “generate nearly $90 billion in worldwide economic activity in the next decade.”
The County of Ventura and the Ventura County Economic Development Association have been leading efforts for the UAV test site. VCEDA President/CEO Bill Buratto stated “This opportunity would be a perfect fit for Ventura County. We have a high-tech educated workforce, a great relationship with our Navy bases, and an established local connection to the aerospace industry.”
Assemblyman Jeff Gorell has been active on this issue, proposing legislation that will protect privacy rights of Californians, while also working to attract the manufacturing industry to the state. Gorell is also co-hosting a symposium to be held in Thousand Oaks from March 26-28 which will focus on the civilian use of UAVs. The symposium is hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and is being sponsored by numerous industry leaders.
For information about the upcoming UAV symposium, please visit https://www.aiaa.org/CAuav/