An innovation hub is growing for drones in an unexpected place: North Dakota.
Dubbed the “Silicon Valley of Drones,” the state is positioning itself to be the nation’s capital for drone research and development, a story in MarketWatch highlights:
With the most open airspace in the country, vast tracts of farmland, infrastructure to test on and the nation’s first unmanned aircraft degree program, it makes sense that North Dakota would be the place for drone technology to spread its wings, and it’s now expanding at an unprecedented rate.
The cornerstone of this development will be Grand Sky Development Park, the nation’s first unmanned airport, which will open this summer at Grand Forks Air Force Base. The project features 1.2 million square feet of hangar and office space, along with a runway specifically for drones.
While drones have gotten lots of attention for their use in national security, they will primarily be used in agriculture and emergency management. The market around drones is expected to be in excess of $91 billion in the next decade, with 65 percent of the worldwide research, development and testing being done in the United States.
North Dakota wants to be at the center of this. The state actively lobbied to be one of the Federal Aviation Administration’s six designated test sites, beating out 37 other bids to be one of those selected.
Read more at State Tech Magazine.