Expanded Use of Drones Can Benefit California

California has the most to gain in terms of jobs and economic development when unmanned aircraft are allowed to operate in U.S. airspace, speakers at a symposium on the commercialization of drones said on Wednesday.

The growth trajectory of innovation favors the state as military spending on drones decreases and commercial applications, such as firefighting and police uses, increases and universities incorporate creating new technology and uses for drones into their curricula.

If California becomes the location of one of six sites the Federal Aviation Administration is establishing for test flights of unmanned aircraft, then it is likely that more industry will locate here, said Todd McNamee, director of airports for Ventura County.

“As we identify landing and recovery (airports within the test site), they may become small hubs of innovation and technology companies will migrate to them as well,” McNamee said.

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