- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - Officials involved in the nation’s first unmanned aircraft business park participated in groundbreaking ceremonies Thursday for the $300 million project in North Dakota.

Construction has started on the 1.2-million-square-feet Grand Sky complex, which is located on the west end of the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Grand Sky Development President Thomas Swoyer Jr. says Thursday’s ceremony was meant to recognize numerous contributors to the project.

The park’s first tenant, Northrup Grumman, is expected to begin construction on its building later this year. Another major defense contractor, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, has signed a tentative agreement to establish an unmanned aerial systems training academy at Grand Sky.

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple says the park is a model for the nation and should bring thousands of jobs to the area.

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