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BVLOS in ND: Building a Statewide Network

October 15, 2019

The North Dakota Department of Commerce and the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS) have announced an upcoming event bringing together stakeholders, UAS (drone) experts, and leaders in industry for the groundbreaking creation of North Dakota’s statewide UAS network.

In May of this year, the state of North Dakota invested $28 million in funding for a statewide network supporting UAS (drone) flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The network will build on previous UAS advancements in the state and support the safe integration of unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System (NAS). One of the first steps in implementing this revolutionary initiative is bringing together people in diverse industries.

To that end, the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS) and the ND Department of Commerce will be hosting BVLOS in North Dakota: Building a Statewide Network, a one-day convergence providing updated details and insights on the statewide network. “This event is a chance to bring many facets of the UAS together to learn about North Dakota’s initiative. We need support from UAS experts, technology developers, enablers, users and everyone in between,” said Nicholas Flom, Executive Director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site. “We want stakeholders to hear from us, which will prepare and educate everyone on the future of BVLOS in North Dakota.”

Join us on October 15, 2019 at the Delta Marriott in Fargo, ND for a full day of speakers, panels, and networking opportunities. For more information, and to register to attend this historic event, visit www.bvlosnd.org/industryday.


Unmanned Aircraft Systems

North Dakota is a proven leader in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with the experience, resources and leadership to help drive the industry's growth. The state is one of seven Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS test sites conducting research to determine how to best integrate UAS into the national airspace. 

North Dakota, along with its stakeholders and partners, is committed to creating an environment where private enterprise, public and private research organizations, and educational institutions may pursue new and exciting opportunities in the UAS industry.

UAS Industry Fact Sheet


The University of North Dakota supports a ground-based, ganged phased array radar system capable of sensing manned or unmanned aircraft within
North Dakota. 
Photo courtesy of Ben Trapnell.

Fly with a Leader

North Dakota has the experience, resources and leadership to receive an FAA UAS test site designation and help drive the industry's growth.

North Dakota was named the "Best Run State" according to 24/7 Wall Street and ranked #3 for "Overall Business Climate" in a 2013 Pollina Report.

North Dakota offers legendary business opportunities with world-class expertise from our research universities, easy access to government officials and a network of existing high-tech businesses.

A Strong UAS Team

North Dakota is home to a growing cluster of UAS research, business and military interests. Partnerships among private businesses, universities and state government strengthen North Dakota's position as a leader in UAS.


  • The University of North Dakota is a world leader in aerospace education, UAS operations and safety. UND offers one of the most established UAS undergraduate programs in the nation.
  • North Dakota State University possesses expertise in electronics engineering and computing technologies.
  • The Northern Plains Unmanned Systems Authority focuses on safety, privacy and development of technologies, principles and procedures for UAS integration into the national airspace. The Authority oversees the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.
  • North Dakota Aeronautics Commission plays a lead role in aviation safety.
  • The Office of the Adjutant General provides a key link to UAS use for military applications.
  • High-tech North Dakota businesses and their partners create an environment where collaboration and synergy result in new business opportunities.
  • State leadership is committed to making North Dakota a hub for UAS advancement.
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