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Published May 01, 2013, 10:14 PM

Hoeven supports UAS in Grand Forks

Senator John Hoeven visited Grand Forks today to discuss the future of North Dakota's aerospace programs. Senator Hoeven and city leaders are pushing to finish an application that would allow North Dakota to be one of six states to become a pilot test site for Unmanned Aerial Systems.

By: Victor Correa, WDAZ

Senator John Hoeven visited Grand Forks today to discuss the future of North Dakota's aerospace programs. Senator Hoeven and city leaders are pushing to finish an application that would allow North Dakota to be one of six states to become a pilot test site for Unmanned Aerial Systems.

These unmanned Aerial systems are not allowed fly in airspace in our own country. That's soon to change as the Federal Aviation Administration looks to establish these test sites.

Hoeven: "Right here, where you've got everything from the premier university to the premier companies to the air force and our air guard working together."

Grand Forks is applying to be one of six pilot test sites for unmanned aerial systems. Out of 50 applicants Senator Hoeven feels North Dakota has the best claim.

Hoeven: "It's about doing it safely and well, and that's why we're the best place to develop it -- we're the right ones to figure it out for the rest of the country."

The application is being developed by the Airspace Integration Team and is composed of a joint effort between UND aerospace, the base support group and the airbase itself.

Cindy Schrieber, Airspace Integration Team Member: "Our main goal was to ensure that all aspects of aviation in the state of north dakota understood the process of what was happening with unmanned systems.

Grand Forks has been working on an Enhanced Use Lease which would create a technology park to let companies that develop unmanned technologies station themselves on the Grand Forks Air Force base.

Cindy: "We are a massive aviation state -- as i look at it and having been involved in aviation for a number of years -- and we'd like to continue that legacy in North Dakota."

The Airspace Integration Team is turning in the final application this friday and if North Dakota is chosen communities can expect to see some positive effects.

Hoeven: "Lots of economic activity, lots of jobs, lots of national attention -- leading the way forward not just for the country but for the world in aviation."

The FAA will have a decision for the six test sites by December.

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