Drone Training Facility to Open in Grand Forks

As the use of drones is increasing in a wide variety of applications and the FAA is finalizing the operational requirements for unmanned aircraft, there will be a growing need for training for the pilots of these systems. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc (GA-ASI) is about to break ground on a new facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota, which will house a training facility for Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).

The 5.5-acre facility will be a part of Grand Forks' newly launched Grand Sky complex at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Training will focus on General Atomics' own drones — the Predators and Gray Eagles. "The Training Academy will complement our customers' organic training capabilities and fill the growing need across our RPA enterprise to address the pilot shortage," said Linden P. Blue, CEO of GA-ASI.

The facility will have the capacity to train up to 60 flight crews per year, GA-ASI said.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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