General Atomics, an aviation company, plans to establish an unmanned aerial systems training academy at the Grand Sky UAS business and technology park in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The company plans to begin construction this fall on a 16,000-square-foot hangar on the grounds of the Grand Sky UAS park where the manufacturer of Predator and Reaper UAS will train UAS flight crews.
General Atomics signed a 10-year lease agreement, with options to extend their Grand Sky operations for another 20 years. The agreement is pending approval by the Air Force and Grand Forks County.
The state has committed about $13 million for infrastructure projects essential to Grand Sky’s development. Projects in various stages of completion at the 217-acre UAS park include roadway and sewer improvements; upgrades to a flight tarmac; the installation of data services, electricity and other utilities; and the construction of security infrastructure. In all, the state has invested more than $34 million to secure and develop one of only six national UAS test sites, to develop Grand Sky, and to support UAS research and innovation in North Dakota.
“North Dakota’s leadership in the growing UAS industry is attracting national attention and we remain committed to developing our expertise and assets into a national hub for UAS research, development and commercialization,” said Governor Jack Dalrymple.