North Dakota calls itself “the Silicon Valley of drone innovation.” And this summer, the state will be able to do full justice to that tag when six companies simultaneously fly their drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) for applications ranging from security surveillance to utility inspections.

The idea is to test the robustness and safety standards of the statewide Vantis BVLOS drone network – a first of its kind in the nation. Vantis is administered through the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS), one of the seven FAA test sites that are conducting research for integrating drones into the national airspace.

Jim Cieplak, Vantis program manager, said:

We have selected some of the most innovative and advanced drone operators and manufacturers out there. We look forward to this next stage, with multiple aircraft flying multiple use cases on Vantis simultaneously.

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