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Published March 12, 2012, 08:43 PM

UND, Northland TC Team Up for UAS Parnership

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The University of North Dakota and Northland Community and Technical College have officially teamed up to provide training for students in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems field.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - The University of North Dakota and Northland Community and Technical College have officially teamed up to provide training for students in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems field.

There has been talk about the schools forming a UAS partnership for while, Today the put that in ink.

UND President Robert Kelley and NCTC President Anne Temte signed papers Monday afternoon, officially making NCTC an affiliated school with UND's Center for UAS Research, Education and Training.

"And to be collaborative and not competitive, I think it's really going to strengthen our area going into the future," Tempte said.

School officials say it's rare that two schools in different states would make such an agreement, but it makes good sense.

"You have the pilot and sensor operators on this side of the river and you have the maintenance training on that. What it has actually done is create a one-stop shop in the region for all UAS activity," NCTC Aviation Director Scott Fletcher said.

"Even though there is a river between us and there are state governments that are different, it's an opportunity for us to work closely together," UND Center for UAS Director Al Palmer said.

UND's training will stay focused mostly on piloting and research, while Northland will focus on maintenance of the planes.

"But we also have to develop the ability to of keeping them flying. And that is where the training of maintenance comes in. I think we are going to have a tremendous partnership," UND President Robert Kelley said.

Even though the school have already started working in areas, school leaders says things will really take off when unmanned planes start to share the same air space as commercial planes.

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