North Dakota is allocating $5.6 million to support the continued development of the Grand Sky unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business and aviation park at Grand Forks AFB, Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) said Monday.
About $3 million of the funding will be used to upgrade a flight tarmac and other infrastructure that will support UAS testing and flight operations, according to a release from the governor’s office.
“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 manufacturing, research and development,” Dalrymple said.
The 217-acre project is being developed under an enhanced use lease with Grand Forks County and calls for 1.2 million square feet of hangar, office, shop, laboratory and data center space required for UAS development, testing and training, sensor technology development, and data analysis and management. The county awarded a sublease to Grand Sky Development Co. to develop the project.
The state has provided more than $30 million to the project now under construction. In April, Northrop Grumman agreed to become Grand Sky’s anchor tenant. In February, North Dakota landed its first UAS manufacturing venture when ComDel Innovation and Altavian begin manufacturing UAS and UAS components at its plant in Wahpeton.