Drone Operator Holds Demonstration at State Capitol

SACRAMENTO -- One month before the FAA comes out with a new set of commercial drone rules, Drone operator Werner Von Stein of Treasure Island is doing a demo at the Capitol.

He said drones are often misunderstood.

"It's not just for selfies, or peeping. That's just common sense. You are basically the pilot or the operator of the aircraft and it should be seen as a privilege, not a given right to fly these things," Von Stein said.

Industry leaders said the more legislators know about drones, the better laws they can make.

Booths at the Capitol lawn showcased a variety of drones, from student projects to drones designed for practical uses -- including postal service, disaster relief, medicine delivery, search and rescue, wedding photographer, and beach patrol.

"The spectrum of the application of is very, very wide. And the impact to the economy is very, very deep," Bruce Parks, the VP, Silicon Valley Association of Unmanned Vehicles said.

The goal behind Tuesday’s event is to educate not only the public, but lawmakers as well, to help them understand the new technology.

“A lot of times, in this building, where people don't understand something, people tend to over-legislate it. You know, 'I don't understand it, so I'm going to extremely limit its use to protect people.' But if we bring in individuals, have them interact with Legislators, it helps with the understanding and really brings in... comfort," Assembly Majority Leader, Ian Calderon of East LA County said.

Last year, Calderon helped author a bill that prohibits the use of drones over airspace of private property. Now, he hopes to get other legislators involved in writing policy for drone operators in the State.

"We want to provide the opportunity for legislators to get a chance to see what type of activities, technology, and innovations that we have in the state of California while also maintaining the consumer protections that are required," Assemblyman Evan Low of San Jose-Silicon Valley said.

Many say the drone industry is only going to grow.

"Our research shows that 2.8 million units are going to be sold, and 14,000 jobs are going to be supported because of drone technology, so it's here to stay, and only going to get better and better," Izzy Santa of the Consumer Technology Association said.