The Air Force will sign an enhanced use lease (EUL) with Grand Forks County for the development of a business and technology park at Grand Forks Air Force Base designed to advance the development of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), North Dakota’s congressional delegation announced last week.
The county is partnering with the Grand Forks Base Realignment Impact Committee and the Center for Innovation Foundation. Officials plan to sign the lease for the Grand Sky development, which will cover 217 acres, in December.
“It will bolster our chances of getting one of six planned UAS test sites and stimulate private investment and job creation across the entire Grand Forks region,” Sen. John Hoeven (R) said in a press release.
Northrop Grumman is working with its partners toward becoming the first tenant in the complex, according to the release. In May, Hoeven brought together Northrop Grumman for the signing of a strategic alliance agreement with the Base Realignment Impact Committee, University of North Dakota (UND), UND Aerospace Foundation and Northland Aerospace Foundation. The agreement paved the way for the county and the Air Force to come to terms for the EUL.
“This arrangement will be a positive development for the entire Grand Forks area, as it will continue to grow its unmanned aerial systems industry. I will continue to push for efforts like this that both support the Grand Forks Air Force Base, and the entire community,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D), co-founder of the Senate Defense Communities Caucus, said in a written statement.
The county could name a developer for the project on Oct. 30, reported the Grand Forks Herald.