North Dakota's Grand Forks County will receive $5.6 million in additional state funding to support the continued development of the Grand Sky Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Business and Aviation Park, according to Gov. Jack Dalrymple, R-N.D.
Of the $5.6 million in state funding, the state is providing $2.5 million following Grand Sky’s success in securing its first park tenant – global aerospace giant Northrop Grumman. An additional $3.1 million in state funding is also available to upgrade a flight tarmac and other infrastructure that will support UAS testing and flight operations. The 2015 legislature appropriated another $4.4 million, contingent upon Grand Sky’s further development.
According to Dalrymple, North Dakota has provided more than $30 million to advance UAS research and development and is collaborating with organizations statewide to expand the emerging industry.
The Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation Park, located on the grounds of the Grand Forks Air Force Base, is under construction and will provide a location for UAS development, testing and training, sensor technology development, and data analysis and management. It capitalizes on the state’s UAS test site and regional academic institutions such as the University of North Dakota's UAS Center of Excellence.
Grand Sky’s facilities are expected to accommodate companies, educational institutions, government contractors and public agencies involved in UAS, the governor explains.