Hoeven Receives UAS From Altavian in Recognition of His Work to Grow North Dakota's Leadership in UAS Sector

Senator Outlines Efforts to Bolster Commercial UAS, Provide Regulatory Certainty for Emerging Industry at Drone Focus Luncheon

FARGO, N.D. – At the Drone Focus monthly meetup today, Senator John Hoeven received one of the first unmanned aerial systems (UAS) manufactured in North Dakota from Altavian and ComDel Innovations executives in recognition of the senator’s work to establish and expand the UAS industry in North Dakota. The Altavian UAS, a Nova F6500, will be displayed in Hoeven’s Washington, D.C., office and was manufactured at ComDel’s plant in Wahpeton, N.D. In May, Hoeven brought together executives from ComDel and Altavian as well as public leaders to mark the roll-out of the first UAS manufactured in the state.

Senator Hoeven has been instrumental in developing North Dakota as a premiere hub for UAS technology, testing and training. He worked closely with the U.S. Air Force and local leaders establish the Grand Sky technology park at Grand Forks Air Force Base and led the effort to establish the six national test sites for UAS airspace intergration, including the Northern Plains UAS test site in North Dakota. Moreover, due to his leadership and the state’s success in this field, Hoeven was invited to speak at Google’s UAS Seminar in Washington, D.C., earlier this month, where he pitched Grand Sky and the state as an ideal location for UAS businesses and training facilities.‎

“We have had many exciting developments in North Dakota’s UAS community over the past few years, and the industry has truly reached a critical mass,” Hoeven said. “Our state is not only a leader in the military applications of UAS, but companies right here in Fargo are on the forefront on commercializing this technology. Our business leaders are investing their time, money and expertise to develop their products, which have uses across a wide range of fields. We continue working to support their efforts by providing the regulatory certainty they need and pushing forward on airspace integration, which will keep us at the cutting-edge of this dynamic industry.”

Senator Hoeven outlined his legislation to help build the commercial UAS industry and promote innovation in this rapidly growing field. The Commercial UAS Modernization Act, introduced by Senators Hoeven and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in May, sets interim operating guidelines for small commercial UAS while providing the FAA with the flexibility to make changes before it finalizes those rules. Hoeven said his bill supports and builds on the hard work of local businesses like the members of Drone Focus, led by Botlink and Emerging Prairie, to develop new UAS technologies and applications and advance the state’s prominence in the industry.