Thursday, March 23, 2006

The coming of UAVs

A high profile "Action Summit on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles" (UAVs) was held in Grand Forks on Wednesday at UND's Clifford Hall. Read about it in today's Herald. The event brought out local, state, federal, military, and business dignitaries including North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan who spoke at the summit. It's still unclear of just how big of an impact the coming installation of a fleet (or fleets) of UAVs at Grand Forks Air Force Base will effect the local economy, but the mood at Wednesday's summit appeared to be that there will definitely be a major impact.

Senator Dorgan and others seem to think that there is the very real possibility of large aircraft manufacturers moving some of their operations to Grand Forks. The future of aviation appears to be in UAVs and Grand Forks, with the presence of the prestigious UND aerospace school and the coming UAVs at the GFAFB, is in a prime spot to capitalize on that growth. The word going around the summit was that, within five to ten years, there could be many, many, many UAV related jobs in the Grand Forks area...potentially in the thousands.

Grand Forks has tried to land a major new employer or sector of employers for years. The potential of UAV-related business could be the catalyst that the city has been waiting for for so long. Apparently, there have already been interested companies that have started looking at Grand Forks. UAVs offer Grand Forks with the potential for major economic growth and many good paying jobs in the near future. I'm glad to see Senator Dorgan and other leaders have the foresight to hold meetings on this important subject.


JGS said...

About time you got something posted, GFG! Ha, kidding. But wow, this is huge for Grand Forks. It's just amazing how big this thing really is. It's also great to hear that the UAV's could also bring in other UAV-related companies to Grand Forks with nearly 1,000+ jobs.

It seems the UAV's are definetely going make up for losing the refueling tankers. Can't wait to see this stuff go into action.

GrandForksGuy said...

I have been a bit lazy lately. I actually thought I would do a lot of posting over spring break, but I guess I just never got around to it. Also, the news around here has been kinda slow lately. I'll try to be a bit more energetic, though.

Still Anonymous said...

"Grand Forks has tried to land a major new employer or sector of employers for years."

Yeah I can't wait for the ad GF puts in the trade magazines "Come to Grand Forks because you don't have to pay people very much."