General Atomics Authorized to Perform Unmanned Flights in North Dakota Sans Chase Aircraft


The Federal Aviation Administration has given General Atomics‘ aeronautical systems business a certificate of waiver or authorization to use a ground-based sense and avoid system in unmanned flight operations in North Dakota.

The COA authorizes General Atomics to use its Predator B remotely piloted aircraft to perform beyond visual line of sight operations up to 60 nautical miles of the company’s flight test and training center near Grand Forks, N.D., without the need for a chase aircraft, General Atomics said Tuesday.

“This COA will open the skies for more unmanned flights around our North Dakota facility and establish North Dakota as a UAS Training Site of Excellence for the Global Customers,” said David Alexander, president of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

The company associated the COA with the Northern Plains UAS Test Site, which has VueStation and RangeVue systems from L3Harris Technologies, the Grand Forks Air Force Base Air Surveillance Radar-11 and other sense-and-avoid technology platforms.

The FAA authorization has one-year validity and will begin on Aug. 31.

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