May 24, 2012

Norm Hickling talks about LA County’s aerospace industry on Aerotech NewsRadio

by Rebecca Amber
Staff Writer

Norman Hickling, senior deputy for Michael D. Antonovich, Supervisor of Los Angeles County, was featured on Aerotech NewsRadio to discuss major aerospace issues in the Antelope Valley.

On May, 24, Norman “Norm” Hickling, was featured on Aerotech NewsRadio to discuss major aerospace issues in the Antelope Valley.

Hickling is the senior deputy for Michael D. Antonovich, Supervisor of Los Angeles County. Hickling has an extensive background in aviation and is very familiar with the current issues surrounding the local aerospace industry.

According to Hickling, Antonovich has a close working-relationship with Congressmen Buck McKeon and Kevin McCarthy, and work together to protect the aerospace industry. In talking about the possible upcoming federal budget sequestration, Hickling remarked that “nobody wishes a war,” but it’s necessary that we maintain the capability to respond quickly to any threat, anywhere in the world. “You can’t cut that,” he added.

More than just the ability to respond, local jobs are also at stake.

“These are projects that need to continue, and these are our family members, our neighbors and we should support them,” said Hickling. He remarked that it’s sad to see policy decisions made that don’t look at the future and only try to fix an immediate problem.

Hickling also addressed the issue of business flight saying that it’s not just “media hype.” He reported that a lot of companies like the area and the land and airspace that is available, but when they start to look at the local governmental policies, it’s too hard to do business in California. In addition to that, other states are recruiting companies from California, which only exacerbates to the problem. Hickling reported that these are issues that need to be addressed at the Sacramento level and “it’s an on-going battle.”

He also added that “If the supervisor had his way the entire state of California would be one big enterprise zone … once you have the infrastructure companies can come in and do business right away.”

Hickling also addressed issues of encroachment, unmanned aircraft and LA Worlds Airport’s role at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif. He said that Gen. Robert Nolan [Air Force Flight Test Center commander] made it clear that encroachment is one of the top three issues for Edwards AFB at the last Outlook Conference. The concern includes things like wind turbine placement and the effects they would have on the airplanes.

Hickling said the same issue, with wind turbines, is a concern with LAWA. The goal is to keep the control local so that these types of issues don’t harm the aerospace industry and create a “great mix” where LAWA and Plant 42 can “support each other.”

To hear this show, visit our radio page here. Aerotech NewsRadio is a weekly program broadcasting Thursday Mornings at 11 a.m. Tune into 1380 on the AM dial to hear the show live.

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