DRSPodcastEconomic DevelopmentPodcast

The Economic Development Potential of UAS

Grand Sky

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“It’s not unreasonable to think that we’re going to put 100,000 square feet or more of new hangers space. We’re going to be putting some operation centers and offices and perhaps some laboratories for integration of new sensors at Grand Sky. I have every reason to expect we may double in size in terms of total square footage developed.”

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This Week’s Key Question

“Can Drones Really Foster Economic Development?”

This Week’s Guest

Tom Swoyer is President of the Grand Sky Development Company.  Grand Sky is the first and only fully operational commercial UAS research and development park in the United States. Strategically located on the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, Grand Sky is the hub of activities in the nation’s leading state for UAS flight testing, training and development. Since 2015, Grand Sky has been the site of continuous UAS industry advancements and milestones.  Not only that, the investments in UAS at Grand Sky are now producing dividends in terms of new private development, jobs and tax revenues. 

In addition to being President of Grand Sky, Tom is also the Founder.  He developed the master plan fpr the design, construction, and operation of the infrastructure and facilities for Grand Sky.  He has also worked alongside a litany of key stakeholders and partners including the Air Force, the State of North Dakota, Congressional Delegations and Grand Forks County in making Grand Sky a success.

What We Learn

Tom talks about Grand Sky, its UAS mission and vision and how the investments that have been made are yielding jobs, development and increasing the tax base.  Thus proving UAS can provide community wide benefits.

    Mentioned Links

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