Posted: Aug 23, 2013 10:34 AM by KSBY News
The Santa Maria Public Airport District Board of Directors approved Thursday a plan to partner with the Ventura County Department of Airports and the Indian Wells Valley Airport District, which are applying to be drone test sites.
Drones are unmanned, remotely controlled aircraft, used most often in surveillance and military missions. The Federal Aviation Administration intends to start using them in national airspace, but plans to do some testing first.
If Ventura County or Indian Wells are chosen as a test site, the Santa Maria Airport could be used as a location where the drones are recovered, refueled and then re-launched.
Santa Maria Airport General Manager Chris Hastert says the Board's decision to move forward with the plan does not mean drones will be coming to Santa Maria, only that it opens the door for that possibility if either of the other airports is chosen as a test site. Hastert says there would be many more meetings to discuss and address public concerns.
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