Unmanned Flight Takes Off in North Dakota
Vantis is paving the way for unmanned flight.
July 19, 2021

Unmanned Flight Takes Off in North Dakota

Infrastructure surrounding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) lags behind the technology that needs to use it. Like cars and trucks, unmanned aerial vehicles need highways to operate safely and effectively. Vantis, a first-of-its-kind network, is paving the way for unmanned flight by building the physical and organizational structures and facilities needed to enable operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS).

North Dakota is well-positioned to take unmanned flight to the next level.

Launching in North Dakota

North Dakota is well-positioned to take UAS operations to the next level. The state is home to the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS), which administers Vantis. Located at the University of North Dakota, NPUASTS allows Vantis to access world-class facilities and researchers in both manned and unmanned flight.

The state has also long been known for its commitment to the industry. In June 2021, North Dakota invested an additional $20 million to build out Vantis on top of an original $28 million investment two years ago.

The first investment allowed NPUASTS to develop Vantis’ technology and build out key sites in McKenzie and Williams counties, where network testing and validation are in progress. The second investment will be used to expand the technology to other areas in the state.

With the expertise, innovation and investment from both public and private organizations, North Dakota is the perfect proving ground for Vantis.

Unmanned flight takes off in North Dakota.

Extending Beyond State Borders

Enabling BVLOS flights on a large scale is crucial to the industry’s success, not just here in North Dakota, but across the country.

What begins with key site implementation close to a robust energy sector in the western part of the state will expand to urban areas in the east. The goal for Vantis is to extend beyond the borders of North Dakota, serving as a blueprint for other states to follow.

The vision for success for unmanned flight begins here. But Vantis is opening up the skies for everyone.