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Published May 20, 2010, 07:34 PM

UAS Program Expand To NCTC

Northland Technical College is getting on board the Unmanned Aerial Systems Train. The are using a $5 million dollar grant to set up curriculum which teaches maintenance on the unmanned planes.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

If Unmanned Aerial Systems are your thing, you were probably at the Alerus Center today in Grand Forks. That's where UAS military experts, industry, and universities talked about unmanned aircraft. It's the fourth annual UAS Summit.

Col. Robert Becklund: "The one thing about this conference. It gets bigger and bigger ever year."

It was last year at this very summit where Northland Community and Technical College's aviation director got an idea.

Scott Fletcher/ Northland Technical College: "Every craft requires maintenance. So everything the requires maintenance, has to have maintenance training. We see ourself a huge opportunity at Northland and just fit the bill."

Anne Temte /NCTC : "He said I'm so excited, Can we talk about how Northland, and our traditional frame and power plant program can catch the wave. "

Northland President Anne Temte says with the college's existing airplane mechanics program, Northland could provide one more wing of regional support for UAS.

Ann Temte / NCTC President: "Because of the partnerships with UND and airbase. Was kind of a natural for us. "

It was also an idea the federal government liked. Earlier this year they gave Northland $5 million dollars to get to work on the UAS maintenance program. Fletcher says this strengthens ties between Northland and UND's aviation programs.

Scott Fletcher: "UND has been phenomenal with us. There an agreement right now were they go through the A nd P program and where they go over to UND for a bachelor degree in UAS. The pipeline already exists between the colleges already."

The Northland UAS maintenance program could be ready as early as next year