- Associated Press - Monday, November 23, 2015

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - A major U.S. defense contractor that is opening an unmanned aircraft training academy in North Dakota might start with a temporary structure because of the demand for drone pilots and other crew members.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. plans to train up to 100 students a year at Grand Sky, the nation’s first unmanned aircraft business park. It’s located on the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Grand Sky Development Corp. President Thomas Swoyer Jr. says the idea of training drone pilots was a key reason why Grand Sky was formed. He says “speed is of the essence” to get the General Atomics training facility up and running.

California-based General Atomics manufactures the Predator and Reaper drones.

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