by Douglas Messier
A bill introduced by State Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) calls for the establishment of the California Institute of Aerospace in the Antelope Valley to promote the industry throughout the state.
Under the measure, the University of California would establish the institute on a satellite campus located within 20 miles of either Edwards Air Force Base or the United States Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale. The institute would be located within the 36th District that Lackey represents.
“The creation of the California Institute for Aerospace by the University of California would greatly amplify the state’s role in the industry and improve public-private partnerships for innovative research,” the bill states. “The model provided by the Collaborative Center for Aerospace Sciences, a joint research venture of the United States Air Force Research Laboratory and the University of California, Los Angeles, is an example of the partnerships the California Institute for Aerospace could form and expand.”
The institute’s goals would include create new job opportunities in aerospace research and design, creating public-private partnerships to perform innovative research in aerospace technology, increasing the amount of research, development and design taking part in the state, and developing California’s next generation of engineers and technicians through expanded research opportunities.
Locating the new institute in Antelope Valley — which is nicknamed the Aerospace Valley — would place it in close proximity to one of the state’s key aerospace clusters.
“The Antelope Valley is home to: NASA’s Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center; the Air Force Test Center and Air Force Research Laboratory Rocket Lab at Edwards Air Force Base; the civilian Mojave Air & Space Port, home to Virgin Galactic, Scaled Composites, and BAE Systems; and Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, where Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman produce aircraft for both defense and civil applications,” according to a concurrent resolution.
The measure was approved by the Assembly’s Higher Education Committee and is now before the Appropriations Committee.