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Dalrymple Announces Significant Funding for Grand Sky
Post Date: Apr 15 2015

Gov. Jack Dalrymple today said $2.5 million in state funds is now available to further develop the Grand Sky unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business and aviation park on the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Appropriated for the 2013-2015 biennium, the funding was made available contingent on securing a lease agreement with a Grand Sky tenant.
“With Northop Grumman’s agreement today to become an anchor tenant at Grand Sky, we are pleased to announce that another $2.5 million in state funds will be made available to continue developing Grand Sky and further solidify North Dakota’s position as a national leader in the growing UAS industry,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said.  “Northrop Grumman is a global leader in aerospace technology and their commitment to Grand Sky represents another important milestone in our continuing work to develop Grand Sky and to become a national hub for UAS manufacturing, research and development.”
Dalrymple spoke today with Northrop Grumman Vice President Tom Vice regarding the aerospace company’s plans to build office space and a UAS operations hangar on the Grand Sky technology park. In February, Grand Forks County officials and the U.S. Air Force signed an enhanced use agreement to develop Grand Sky on the military base.
Talks between North Dakota officials and Northrup Grumman began after then-Lt. Gov. Dalrymple invited the company’s Sector Vice President of Operations, Gerald ‘Duke’ Dufresne, to visit North Dakota and learn more about the state’s aviation and aerospace offerings. Since then, the state has invested more than $20 million to support the development of Grand Sky; to establish a national UAS test site; and to advance UAS research and development.
Dalrymple, other state officials and the state’s congressional delegation have continued talks with Northrop to secure the aerospace giant’s presence at Grand Sky.  Dalrymple also led the state’s successful efforts to establish a national UAS test site in North Dakota and to establish North Dakota as a national hub for UAS research and development.
In April 2014, North Dakota’s Northern Plains UAS Test Site was the nation’s first to be FAA certified as ready to begin the work of integrating unmanned aerial systems into the national airspace. 
“The signing of Northrop to become another partner at Grand Sky is another indication that our goal of diversification of North Dakota is moving in high gear,” said Sen. Ray Holmberg of Grand Forks.
Holmberg, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said lawmakers are supportive of the governor’s request to provide additional funding for Grand Sky’s development and are advancing legislation for additional funding contingent on securing additional Grand Sky tenants.
In February, Dalrymple and officials from ComDel Innovation, Inc. and Altavian announced that the companies have agreed to manufacture unmanned aerial systems and UAS components at ComDel’s high-tech manufacturing plant in Wahpeton.
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