UAS use in California:
- Three California film and television production companies were among the first six companies to receive a commercial UAS exemption to operate in the national airspace.
- The University of California, Davis and UC Merced have received multiple operational certificates of authorization from the FAA to conduct research using UAS. The MESA lab at UC Merced has been awarded eight COAs to perform research using UAS for agricultural applications to understand crop growth dynamics, natural resource management, environmental monitoring, automated data surveillance-broadcast, airworthiness and integration into the national airspace.
- The Los Angeles Police Department and Ventura County Sheriff’s Office have tested UAS to help save civilian and department lives. UAS can help law enforcement save lives and property by providing effective situational awareness in harsh conditions for rescue operations or other emergencies. Firefighters, public health experts and Red Cross volunteers in Dunsmuir used UAS for aerial views of a simulated train derailing and chemical spill to identify better ways to prepare emergency responders.
- The University of California Davis and Yamaha have demonstrated spraying a vineyard with pesticides from an unmanned RMAX helicopter, which has been extensively used in Japan to save time, increase accuracy and improve yields.
Economic and Jobs Impact:
- In 2013, AUVSI released a study, finding that the UAS industry is poised to help create more than 100,000 jobs and have more than $82 billion in economic impact in the first decade after integration.
- California is predicted to be the top state to see gains in terms of job creation and additional revenue as production of UAS increase, more than 12,000 jobs created in three years following integration and over $14 billion in economic impact created in the first decade.
- According to an AUVSI report, among the first 3,000+ commercial UAS exemptions, California led the way with 360 approved business operators.
- Among their many uses, unmanned systems stand to make a big impact on California’s agricultural industry, the state’s largest industry with an annual economic impact of more than $100 billion and over 400,000 jobs. UAS can help save farmers millions of dollars, both in time and resources. This technology will help monitor crops and increase farmers’ yields, supporting a critical industry and the men and women who make it all possible.