It’s been five years since the notion of developing an unmanned aviation business park on otherwise vacant land at the Grand Forks Air Force Base was first discussed. Today, construction activities are a daily part of life at Grand Sky as the nation’s first UAS business and aviation park continues to build out infrastructure and tenants place finishing touches on facilities.
The Grand Forks Herald sat down with Grand Sky Development Co. President Tom Swoyer recently to reminisce about the last five years and look ahead at the next year of development. “Five years ago, this was just a crazy idea that we had to spend day upon day just explaining to people and convince ourselves that this made sense,” he said. Now, tenants including General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. have set up a presence at the park and are already utilizing the park’s unique mix of amenities, including access to a runway able to accommodate large UAS at Grand Forks Air Force Base. “Grand Sky offered a whole bunch of things we thought were worthy of investment,” Everett Dunnick, program manager of General Atomics’ flight training academy, said in the article.
In the coming year, Grand Sky expects to announce more tenant agreements, as well as begin constructing a multi-tenant building that is expected to fill quickly upon completion. The park also intends to continue working closely with the Air Force to gain approval for tenants to utilize radar for beyond-line-of-sight flying. When approved, Grand Sky will be the first location in the country to offer that capability to tenants.
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