GRAND FORKS — Governor Doug Burgum today participated in the grand opening of the new Mission and Network Operations Center (MNOC) for Vantis, the first-of-its-kind statewide network that supports unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations in North Dakota beyond visual line of sight.
“This operations center is a prime example of how North Dakota continues to invest in technology to create opportunities for citizens and businesses and diversify our economy,” Burgum said. “With Vantis, we’re creating a platform for entrepreneurs and innovators to develop new products and for the government and private sector to offer better services to the public. Today’s grand opening further cements North Dakota as a destination for UAS operations.”
Burgum first proposed funding for Vantis at the State of Technology Conference in Fargo in November 2018. State lawmakers approved $28 million for the network in 2019 and an additional $20 million in 2021, helping to attract UAS technology research, development and commercialization to North Dakota. The Grand Sky business and aviation park near Grand Forks employs more than 180 people and houses aircraft valued at over $2.5 billion.
Today’s ribbon-cutting event for the MNOC included representatives from the Legislature, congressional delegation, Vantis, the North Dakota Department of Commerce and Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Administration, the UAS industry, the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, and Thales, the Vantis system integrator and long-term partner building out the system.