Dignitaries Celebrate UAV Flight Milestone at Grand Sky

Dignitaries Celebrate UAV Flight Milestone at Grand Sky

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, industry leaders and elected officials celebrated the launch of beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight operations for large unmanned aerial systems (UAS) on Monday at Grand Sky, a UAS-focused research and development park at Grand Forks AFB, N.D. “Flying large UAS beyond visual line of sight in the national airspace will allow the unmanned aircraft industry to demonstrate its true potential for contributing to commercial aviation operations,” said Thomas Swoyer Jr., president of Grand Sky Development Co., according to a news release. “It reduces the cost for operators to test and prove systems and provides the opportunity for real-world demonstrations of how unmanned and manned aircraft can share the skies safely and efficiently.”

Grand Sky recently became the first U.S. location to receive regulatory permission to host commercial BVLOS test flights for large unmanned aircraft following a 36-month process led by the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. Initial BVLOS flights at Grand Sky will be limited to large UAS flying within 30 nautical miles of Grand Sky and will be subject to several additional FAA restrictions until the safety of the flights is demonstrated.

Dan Cohen
Dan Cohen
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