Surprisingly, North Dakota is increasingly seen as the new Silicon Valley for drones. Compared to other new technologies, due to their bad PR and overall public fears drones have received little support by the US government. Moreover, the negative attitude of the government was able to scare some of firms in the US enough to consider relocation, such as in the case of Amazon Prime Air.
Despite all, North Dakota decided to show its support for the technology by committing $5 million to help bring infrastructure to the site as part of its 2015-17 executive budget and another $7.5 million in grants for runway improvements. It is also worth mentioning, that the state was among the first six states to allow allowed to develop a test site for commercial drone applications: The Northern Plains UAS Test Site in Grand Forks. In addition, University of North Dakota established a “centre of excellence” for drones, offering the nation’s first undergraduate degree program in unmanned aviation.
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