The U.S. Navy proposes to station a drone operations base at an airfield 15 miles west of Malibu, it was reported today.
Navy Base Ventura County, Point Mugu will get about 700 jobs when the four of the planes are stationed at the Navy airfield midway between Malibu and Ventura.
An environmental impact statement for the project was posted Friday, and first reported in the Ventura County Star.
Four unmanned, unarmed drones, called Tritons Unmanned Weapons Systems, would be stationed at Point Mugu, and other drones from Navy bases around the world would also land and takeoff at the Southern California base.
The planes are 48 feet long, but have 138-foot wingspans. They were unveiled at Palmdale last summer, and represent the military’s next generation of remote control intelligence gear.
The environmental impact report said about five takeoffs and landings a day would be added at the Navy field. The planes would primarily take off and depart over the ocean, the Navy document said.
An existing fire station would be remodeled to provide quarters to control the planes. A new taxiway and hangar would be built at the base in future years.
Cameras and other remote-control sensors would be operated by military intelligence officers from flight levels altitudes of around 58,000 feet, the the Navy said.
Between employees, support staff and families, the project would bring about 2,380 people to the region. Naval Base Ventura County includes the Point Mugu airfield, a port facility at Port Hueneme, and headquarters of the Navy Construction battalion, commonly called Seabees.
Comments on the Point Mugu drone base are being taken until March 11. The impact report can be downloaded here.