AVIAN LLC awarded commercial contract to support unmanned aircraft test site in North Dakota

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January 3, 2014

AVIAN LLC is at the forefront of the growing community of unmanned aviation.

In October 2013, AVIAN was awarded a commercial contract with the state of North Dakota, Department of Commerce supporting the development of an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) test site.

This week, the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, announced the selection of six public entities that will develop unmanned aircraft systems research and test sites around the country.

Among the sites selected was the state of North Dakota, Department of Commerce.

According to the FAA press release, “These congressionally-mandated test sites will conduct critical research into the certification and operational requirements necessary to safely integrate UAS into the national airspace over the next several years.”

The six sites selected are the University of Alaska; the State of Nevada; New York’s Griffiss International Airport near Utica, N.Y.; the state of North Dakota, Department of Commerce; Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi, Texas; and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

“We have a team of proven leaders in the development and test of unmanned systems and have accumulated a growing list of ‘firsts’ in the UAS test community,” said Kevin Switick, AVIAN’s chief executive officer and vice president of business development.

AVIAN is contracted to identify options and recommendations to the State of North Dakota regarding UAS test site infrastructure, equipment, and instrumentation required to operate a successful UAS test site that will meet the expectations of the FAA and potential test site users.

Additionally, AVIAN will develop operation policies and procedures required to operate and utilize UAS test site infrastructure, equipment, and instrumentation in association with the test site’s activities.

“AVIAN has conducted safe and effective test flight operations of developmental unmanned systems for more than five years,” said Bart Ludlow, AVIAN’s director of unmanned aerial systems division. “We are excited to apply our military expertise to the commercial sector while supporting the limitless future of unmanned aviation.”

In 2008, AVIAN became the first non-original equipment manufacturers’ contractor to support the U.S. Navy MQ-8B Fire Scout integrated test team with qualified air vehicle operators, mission payload operators, project managers, and project engineers. In 2013, AVIAN became the prime contractor for aircrew services supporting this work for the Navy Test Wing Atlantic’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Directorate.

Last month, AVIAN was among those recognized at the 13th annual Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Commander’s Award and Innovation Award ceremony held at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. for outstanding team achievement providing aircrew, engineering, operations and scheduling support to the Navy Test Wing Atlantic’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Directorate at the Navy Outlying Field, Webster Field, St. Inigoes Md.

AVIAN also supports UAS efforts with the state of Alaska, which has a variety of test sites, including Hawaii and Oregon, selected by the FAA to work on state monitoring and navigation and safety standards for UAS operations.

For additional information:
Tara N. Strickland
Director of Communications
tara.strickland@avianllc.com