GA-ASI Breaks Ground on RPA Training Academy

GA-ASI Breaks Ground on RPA Training Academy

Facility On-track for Expected 2016 Opening

SAN DIEGO – 9 November 2015 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA‑ASI), a leading manufacturer of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) systems, radars, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions, announced today that construction has commenced on its new, five-and-a-half acre RPA training facility at Grand Sky Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) business and aviation park in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

"Today's groundbreaking of our new state-of-the-art training facility continues to elevate GA-ASI's partnership with North Dakota," said Linden Blue, CEO, GA-ASI. "We look forward to the completion of this construction project which will allow us to meet growing worldwide demand for RPA training and conduct airspace integration testing."

During the ceremony, Governor Jack Dalrymple, Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined U.S. Air Force leadership and GA-ASI executives to break ground on the site.

The mission of GA-ASI's Training Academy is to provide safe, effective, and cutting- edge flight training for aircrew operating the company's aircraft. As an additional benefit, the Training Academy will potentially serve to augment USAF Training Programs as well. Training for GA-ASI aircrew begins early next year, followed by international customer training shortly thereafter. The company signed a 10-year lease for the facility.

Operating year-round and generating new jobs in North Dakota, the Academy will offer multiple courses and provide training for dozens of students at a time. GA-ASI plans to leverage U.S. Government-approved syllabi, partner with a local university, and draw on the expertise of leaders in the training and simulation industry to facilitate the academic and ground-based training programs. Concurrently, flight operations at the Academy will support flight training, research and development, and commercial applications.

Since the early 1990s, GA-ASI has used its Gray Butte and El Mirage Flight Operations Facilities in Palmdale and Adelanto, California to train hundreds of company and customer aircrew. The North Dakota site provides an additional training resource for both GA-ASI aircrews and international customers who are seeking to grow their aircrew capacity beyond what current training programs can provide.
GA-ASI's Grand Sky facility is co-located with the Grand Forks Air Force Base, which also serves as the base of operations for U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection Predator® B aircraft and North Dakota Air National Guard MQ-1 Predator A aircraft.

High-resolution photos of the groundbreaking ceremony are available to qualified media outlets from the GA-ASI media contact listed below. 

About GA-ASI

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., an affiliate of General Atomics, delivers situational awareness by providing remotely piloted aircraft systems, radar, and electro-optic and related mission systems solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide. The company's Aircraft Systems business unit is a leading designer and manufacturer of proven, reliable RPA systems, including Predator A, Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper®, Gray Eagle, the new Predator C Avenger®, and Predator XP. It also manufactures a variety of state-of-the-art digital Ground Control Stations (GCS), including the next-generation Advanced Cockpit GCS, and provides pilot training and support services for RPA field operations. The Mission Systems business unit designs, manufactures, and integrates the Lynx® Multi-mode Radar and sophisticated Claw® sensor control and image analysis software into both manned and remotely piloted aircraft. It also focuses on providing integrated sensor payloads and software for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft platforms and develops high energy lasers, electro-optic sensors, and meta-material antennas. For more information, please visit

Predator, Reaper, Avenger, Lynx, and Claw are registered trademarks of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.

For more information contact:

Kimberly Kasitz
Public Relations Manager
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc.