Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)
Take Advantage of Minot's MAGIC Sky
The Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) industry is an emerging industry that has experienced tremendous growth and demand over the last few years, North Dakota is quickly becoming known as the drone state. With a rural setting and wide open skies, Minot is a prime location for UAS operations. Between military and commercial uses, the opportunities are unlimited for UAS businesses in the Minot area.
In Dec. 2016, MADC announced the MAGIC Sky initiative, representing the tremendous potential for the UAS industry in Minot. Minot’s MAGIC Sky offers close proximity to the Bakken with endless opportunities for energy infrastructure inspection, government defense, precision ag, and more. This initiative combines strategic partners across the state to promote Minot as a top-destination for UAS companies, MAGIC Sky also represents Minot’s efforts and commitment to help foster and support the maturing of this industry.
The first achievement of the MAGIC Sky initiative was securing SkySkopes, a leading drone service provider, who announced their expansion to Minot on Dec. 19, 2016. SkySkopes is a national leader in UAS flight operations and specializes in energy infrastructure inspections, security purposes, precision agriculture, industrial inspection, and other uses. SkySkopes was the first North Dakota startup legally approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly unmanned aircraft for business purposes and has grown to national and international operations.
“Between military and commercial uses, there are so many opportunities for SkySkopes in Minot, and even more opportunities for the businesses that utilize their services,” said Stephanie Hoffart, President/CEO of the Minot Area Development Corporation. “SkySkopes has helped businesses save up to 70 percent in business costs. This will be huge for Minot businesses and MADC couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this exciting milestone.”
Over the last few years, North Dakota has exploded with drone activity. Investing over $37 million dollars in the UAS/UAV industry, the state of North Dakota is devoted to remain a top state for UAS/UAV businesses. Joining forces, MADC’s invaluable partnership with the Department of Commerce will help drive the MAGIC Sky initiative along with industry experts- SkySkopes. Click here to view SkySkopes' tribute to Minot, featuring Minot State University.
To see how North Dakota is implementing UAS services in the agriculture industry (North Dakota’s #1 industry) click here. High-end companies like Xcel Energy are also capitalizing on UAS services. “Developing this technology allows us to explore ways we can improve reliability and safety to better serve our customers,” said Michael Lamb, Xcel Energy Vice President operating services and enterprise transformation office. “We’re pleased to collaborate with SkySkopes as we work to reduce outage times while also saving time and money.” Click here to read more. For more information on UAS in North Dakota, visit the Department of Commerce, Droning On, and Drone Life. The Department of Commerce also provides a program, Research ND, which has been extremely beenficial to UAS businesses in North Dakota. If you are a UAS company looking for assistance, click here to vist Research ND.