North Dakota First In Nation To Fly UAS Test Flights - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

North Dakota First In Nation To Fly UAS Test Flights

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The State of North Dakota has another first, when it comes to Unmanned Aerial System research and development. Today, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, announced it will be the first of six testing sites across the Country, to begin making actual flights this summer.
  North Dakota’s Congressional delegation along with state and local official gave the F-A-A’s top man… the full, UND Aerospace tour.

Reporter: “What do you think of this setup?”

Michael Huerta, FAA: “It’s a great setup. Terrific facility and it look like we’ve got state of the art facilities and operations here.”

  Huerta got a look at all kinds of Aerospace simulators, research and training facilities for UAS development.

Instructor: “So, the idea is they learn all about all the technologies in the aircraft…”

  Following that tour, Huerta made the big announcement that North Dakota will be the first in the nation to begin UAS test flights.

Michael Huerta, FAA: “…to allow a test site to start flying unmanned aircraft… (applause).”

  Drones will be used monitor crops and wildlife.

Michael Huerta, FAA: “During the summer, Dragonflyer will collect data to make an automated count of the State’s deer, elk and bison populations. The research will happen west of here in Carrington at UND’s extension center and at Sully’s Hill National Game Preserve, near Devils Lake.”

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp: “We’re going to have a booming and very thriving unmanned aircraft systems and we’re going to lead the way right here in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

  Plus, Grand Sky, a tech park for UAS businesses at the Air Base is scheduled to start this summer. Officials say Aerospace giant Northrup Grumman is already committed to the project.

Sen. John Hoeven: “I can’t say who we’ve been talking to, but I fully expect to have other companies on board, announcing about the same time.”

    Huerta  also stopped at the airport in Williston to take a look at the growing infrastructure needs caused by the oil boom.
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