Grand Sky is located on the Grand Forks Air Force Base in northeast North Dakota, 90 miles south of the Canadian border. The hub is just 20 minutes west of Grand Forks, a thriving city of 60,000 citizens, and home to the University of North Dakota (UND). In fact, the university is the nation’s most respected school for training pilots and one of the frontrunners in unmanned aviation studies. Grand Sky is also nearby Northland Community & Technical College, one of Grand Sky’s partners and a key school for educating talented professionals who specialize in the technology of unmanned flight.
Grand Sky is wholly supported by the North Dakota Department of Commerce. By leveraging the state’s incredibly accessible and diverse airspace, along with its unique budget surplus, the NDDOC is able to offer qualifying tenants of Grand Sky appropriate tax credits for research expenditures, corporate income tax credit for new and expanding businesses, tax exemptions for manufacturing equipment, low interest loans and more.
It was not a mistake that CNBC named North Dakota the #3 state in the U.S. for doing business in 2013.
One of the keys to success in the business of unmanned aviation is undoubtedly a strong relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration. As the FAA begins to roll out its UAS Roadmap and introduce more detailed regulations for the use of unmanned systems in the United States, it becomes critical to keep them in the loop as products are developed. Consequently, the fastest way to FAA approval is almost certainly to locate your research and development facility within a designated UAS test site, enabling a direct link to the FAA. The North Dakota Department of Commerce – and consequently Grand Sky – were selected for this designation in December of 2013.
The FAA recognition is due, in part, to the following factors:
- Training – Grand Sky has relationships with some of the nation’s most advanced training and education programs for those seeking to work within the UAS industry.
- Climate – North Dakota allows for research and development in four distinct seasons. Testing is possible in both significant heat and extreme cold, as well as in both high- and low-wind conditions.
- Airspace – Unencumbered and diverse airspace with existing COA’s and test ranges supported by highly advanced operations and ground systems.
- Data Communication Technology – Grand Sky’s unique connection to the nation’s communication infrastructure is designed specifically to accommodate the massive data load necessary for the development and operation of unmanned aircraft.
Established in 1955, GFAFB has a current population of 2,000 and houses the United States Air Force’s 319th Air Base Wing. The base’s mission includes the operation of the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft, making it one of the nation’s most important sites for the development of UAS technologies.
Grand Sky, through its Enhanced Use Lease with the Air Force and Grand Forks County, has a uniquely beneficial relationship with the Base. Grand Sky tenants have direct Grand Forks Air Force Base runway access, allowing private companies the ability to develop and test their aircraft in authentic situations with real-world technology and infrastructure. This unique access to specialized UAS expertise is a primary rationale for locating a business at Grand Sky.
Thanks to its award-winning faculty and excellent location, the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks has long been regarded as the nation’s top school for the education of pilots. More recently, UND has embraced unmanned aviation, introducing some of the world’s first curriculums developed specifically to train pilots for unmanned flight. Grand Sky is working closely with UND, and as a result, companies located in the development park will have unparalleled access to students as employees and graduates as leaders.
In addition, Grand Sky has partnered with Northland Community & Technical College in nearby East Grand Forks, Minnesota. NCTC has a program specifically designed to train technicians in the service and repair of unmanned aerial systems. These highly specialized experts will be readily available to anchor tenant workforces at Grand Sky.
Grand Sky Development Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infinity Development Partners LLC. IDP possesses extensive experience with third-party financing for Department of Defense real estate and energy projects, as well as traditional facility design, construction and financing. IDP partners have structured and financed more than $10 billion in real estate transactions. Whether collaborating with government or private sector clients, the IDP team contributes tactical assessment partnered with innovative project development and knowledgeable management experience.
Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corporation Financing & Incentives:
With the Grand Forks Region EDC’s assistance, you will have access to support programs and resources to help assure success for your business expansion or start-up in the Greater Grand Forks region. The EDC will work closely with you to package customized financing that ensures optimal support. Put North Dakota’s favorable tax climate and economic vitality to work for you.
ND Department of Commerce: Economic Development & Finance:
Business incentives, government accessibility, and workforce performance – combined with North Dakota’s favorable position as one of the lowest cost states for operating a business – are driving top companies to establish operations in the state. The Economic Development and Finance Division of the state Department of Commerce provides full service assistance with:
- Site Location
- Incentive Packaging
- Business Liaisons
- International Trade Opportunities
- Workforce Development
Be a TenantReady to launch your company’s UAS presence as a Grand Sky tenant? Fill out this form and we’ll help you put it all together at Grand Sky, from financing and construction to logistics and launch.
Tenant Registration Form
Additional Questions? Contact Us:Thomas Swoyer
Grand Sky Development Company
Grand Sky Development Company
Media ContactKris Bevill