boppsbrdTopTenIf Horace Greeley was alive today, he would no longer be pointing us westward to the land of opportunity. Instead, he’d send us north to the grand state of North Dakota, the new hotbed of drone activity in the country. Today’s guest on the Drone Radio Show is Brian Opp, the UAS and Aerospace Business Development Manager for the North Dakota Department of Commerce. Among his many responsibilities is leading North Dakota’s efforts to attract, develop and expand the state’s fast growing drone industry. Sounding a little like Horace Greely himself, in this interview, Brian discusses how North Dakota has become THE place for drone businesses, enthusiasts and opportunity.

Show Outline

  • [01:27] What is the North Dakota Office of UAS and Aerospace Business Development
  • [02:32} Origins of North Dakota’s drone industry
  • [03:43] Steps that the State of North Dakota took to nurture the drone industry
  • [05:12] FAA’s Drone Test Site Designation Program – A right fit for North Dakota
  • [07:16] About the North Dakota Drone Test Site – why it’s unique, location and users
  • [10:42] The key partners and users that make the test site successful
  • [11:51] State incentives for small businesses and drone businesses in North Dakota
  • [15:56] Coordination with the FAA
  • [16:38] North Dakota’s emerging drone culture
  • [19:21] Public perception of the drone industry in North Dakota
  • [20:57] Are there lessons from North Dakota that can be transferred to other States (you may be surprised by the response)
  • [24:13] North Dakota’s Grand Sky Business Development Park – accelerating the growth of the industry
  • [26:15] The outlook and goals for the drone industry in North Dakota
  • [28:01] Closing

Mentioned Links

A drone inspecting a pipeline

A drone inspecting a pipeline

The Drone Radio Show is a show about drones and the people that use them for business, fun and research.