Proponents of responsible commercial UAS use are applauding California Governor Jerry Brown’s veto of a state senate bill that would restrict drone flights.

“We applaud Governor Brown for vetoing this unnecessary and restrictive legislation,” Brian Wynne, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), said this morning. “While the industry supports the safe, non-intrusive use of UAS technology, SB 142 would have stifled innovation, hampered economic growth and created inconsistencies with federal law.

“SB 142 was also in direct contradiction with federal law because only the FAA can regulate airspace; states and municipalities cannot. According to the U.S. Code, ‘The United States Government has exclusive sovereignty of airspace of the United States.’”

Wynne noted an AUVSI study estimating that in the first decade following UAS integration into the national airspace system, California’s economy will gain more than 18,100 jobs and more than $14 billion in economic impact. “Under the right regulatory environment, there’s no question these numbers could go even higher,” he said. “The defeat of SB 142 is an important step in protecting these potential economic gains and job opportunities for thousands of hardworking Americans.

“The defeat of SB 142 does not remove the urgency for the FAA to finalize its long awaited rules on small unmanned aircraft. There is much uncertainty about where operators should and shouldn’t fly; until the FAA acts, legislation such as SB 142 will continue to exacerbate this confusion,” said Wynne. “For the safety of our skies and to ensure that there is no confusion between state and federal law, we need Washington to make finalizing these rules a top priority.”

AUVSI spearheads the UAS safety campaign “Know Before You Fly.” Launched last year, this effort educates newcomers to UAS technology about where they should and shouldn’t fly.

About AUVSI

The world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of unmanned systems and robotics, AUVSI represents more than 7,500 members from 60-plus allied countries involved in the fields of government, industry and academia. AUVSI members work in the defense, civil and commercial markets.