By Dan Clark, Ridgecrest Mayor
Let’s talk economic development.
What if we were to receive one of the FAA’s six test site designations?
What can the Indian Wells Valley expect from such an opportunity?
No one knows for sure, but I believe we can expect a large number of high-paying jobs in the fields of science and engineering, as well as support industries. Our business community can expect increased revenues in hotels, restaurants, shops, and home values.
We should and must pursue the possibility of the fabrication of UAS right here in Ridgecrest, thus expanding our economic base. We can also expect the Inyokern Airport will become more attractive with significant increases in construction projects and revenues. We can expect to see a population increase in the Indian Wells Valley. We estimate from the construction and technical job increases a multiplier of 4 to 1.
The final phase of this request for proposal will encompass a site visit to the Inyokern Airport and surrounding communities. We are expecting to hear the results of the FAA decision within the next few months. I leave you with a quote from our 1st District Supervisor, Mick Gleason “I honestly believe that in the final analysis, there really is only one ‘best’ place in America to do UAS development and test work and that is Inyokern, California.”