For all the controversy about the potential misuse or abuse of surveillance drones, it’s pretty dumb to go all apoplectic over flight testing in the premier chunk or test friendly airspace. California airspace has hosted just about every high performance military aircraft or missile there is or ever was.
SoCal needs the jobs, the dollars the brainpower brought to the task. Proper regulation can not happen until we have testing that tells us what is really workable. Then we will regulate in the context of reality. The nation needs the drones and generous protections for our traditional civil liberties/protections from undue or unwarranted search and surveillance.
Despite Americans’ concerns about the domestic use of drones, California local agencies are reportedly moving forward with an application to declare a broad swath of Southern California a “drone zone” - an area to be used to test pilotless aircraft. The purpose: government stimulus. In California, the San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC) and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC) have filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration to create a drone zone. These groups want to stimulate state drone business, even as the state raises its taxes repeatedly, driving out other business. Northrup Grumman, a major drone producer, has relocated branches of its unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program to Southern California. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, which produces Predator drones, is located in Poway. The UAV industry in San Diego County clocks in at approximately $1.3 billion, and that number is growing fast.According to reports, 63 drone sites have already been authorized across the country.
More at Brietbart Link: Defense Industry Pushes for ‘Drone Zone’ Over Southern California